19 April 2010


The PGDip course consists of a studio paper and a theory paper.

For the theory paper, we have to propose and then write an essay. Interestingly, the weighting for the proposal and the final essay are the same. The essay proposal was due just before the Easter holidays, which have just finished.

I had a few different topics floating around in my head, and was unsure which one I wanted to do the most. Then we were told that, as none of us have art history backgrounds, we shouldn't try to write an art historical essay. Right, I thought, that decides it.

So I've proposed to write an essay on Piero della Francesca's Baptism of Christ, which is the best painting in the world:

I'm also going to tie it in with Francis Picabia's Amorphic paintings. These are not very well known, but I find them fascinating:

Duchamp reckoned Picabia invented the word 'abstraction', and there's a good argument he invented abstract painting (fuck Kandinsky). Most people, having come up with this (and an elaborate theory behind it), would spend the rest of their career elaborating on it. But not Picabia. Just a couple of years later, he renounced it as 'humbug'.

The essay will be called Immortality machines, and the element that I'm going to argue Piero's Baptism and Picabia's Amorphism have in common is that both were using painting as a machine to transform the personal, individual, and fleeting into the universal, eternal, and unchanging – the mortal into the immortal.

I'm highly dubious whether I can pull this off, as it'll involve developing several original arguments, but I really hope I do.



Paul said...

Hey, don't be too fancy!

David Cauchi said...

There's not enough wordcount to be fancy – or, I've belatedly realised, to do the subject justice.

Haimona said...

I agree it's a marvellous picture, and the best thing in it, it seems to me, is that guy in the background pulling his shirt off -- or perhaps on, I'm not sure which.

visitors since 29 March 2004.