logo Scopus logo Web Of Science logo ERIH PLUS logo Visegrad Fund logo CEJSH The electronic version of Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics is available at: http://www.ceeol.com
The electronic version of Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics is available at: www.ceeol.com

2/2017

LIV (New Series: X)
Issued: September 2017
Biannual
Founded: 1964
Re-established as an international journal: 2008
ISSN: 0014 –1291
Language: English

The Aesthetic Experience of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art: A Polemic with Henry’s Phenomenological Analysis

http://aesthetics.ff.cuni.cz/archive/479/the-aesthetic-experience-of-kandinskys-abstract-art-a-polemic-with-henrys-phenomenological-analysis

 

The French phenomenologist Michel Henry sees a similarity between the primordial experience of what he calls ‘Life’ and the aesthetic experience occasioned by Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract art. The triple aim of this essay is to explain and assess (1) how Henry interprets Kandinsky’s abstract art and theory; (2) what the consequences of his interpretation mean for the theory of the experience of abstract art; and (3) what doubts and questions emerge from Henry’s interpretations of Kandinsky’s theory and practice. Despite its containing many interesting ideas, Henry’s phenomenological approach is insufficient to describe the aesthetic experience of Kandinsky’s abstract art. For Henry, aesthetic experience is corporeal, primordial, non-intentional, and independent of knowledge and culture. By contrast, I believe that it is possible and more suitable to connect the direct, corporeal, and affective character of the aesthetic experience of abstract art with intentionality and embeddedness in culture and knowledge.