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Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures

Mondrian's Philosophy of Visual Rhythm

Phenomenology, Wittgenstein, and Eastern thought

Authors: Tosaki, Eiichi

  • First book-length work on a forgotten definition of rhythm as ‘schema’ or ‘composition’
  • New approach to visual rhythm, with references to Piet Mondrian’s theory of visual rhythm in Neoplastic painting
  • References to Wittgenstein’s concept of ‘aspect-dawning’, Husserl’s ‘image-object’, and S. K. Langer’s ‘composition’
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eBook $89.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-024-1198-0
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Hardcover $119.99
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About this book

This volume investigates the meaning of visual rhythm through Piet Mondrian’s unique approach to understanding rhythm in the compositional structure of painting, drawing reference from philosophy, aesthetics, and Zen culture. Its innovation lies in its reappraisal of a forgotten definition of rhythm as ‘stasis’ or ‘composition’ which can be traced back to ancient Greek thought. This conception of rhythm, the book argues, can be demonstrated in terms of pictorial strategy, through analysis of East Asian painting and calligraphy with which Greek thought on rhythm has identifiable commonalities. The book demonstrates how these ideas about rhythm draw together various threads of intellectual development in the visual arts that cross disparate aesthetic cultural practices. As an icon of early 20th Century Modernism, Mondrian’s neoplasticism is a serious painterly and philosophical achievement. In his painting, Mondrian was deeply influenced by Theosophy, which took its influence from Eastern aesthetics; particularly East Asian and Indian thought. However, Mondrian’s approach to visual rhythm was so idiosyncratic that his contribution to studies of visual rhythm is often under-recognized. This volume shows that a close inspection of Mondrian’s own writing, thinking and painting has much to tell scholars about how to understand a long forgotten aspect of visual rhythm. Rodin’s famous criticism of photography (“athlete-in-motion is forever frozen”) can be applied to Muybridge’s zoopraxiscope, the Futurists’ rendition of stroboscopic images, and Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase.” Through a comparative study between Mondrian’s painting and these seminal works, this volume initiates a new convention for the cognition of the surface of painting as visual rhythm.

“Mondrian’s simultaneous emphasis on the static and the rhythmic is hardly fodder for a publicist. Eiichi Tosaki has taken on the challenge of elucidating Mondrian’s theories of rhythm, and particularly his conception of “static” rhythm. The result is a tour de force that will forever alter the reader’s encounter with the works of Mondrian.”
Prof. Kathleen Higgins

 

About the authors

Tosaki Eiichi has a PhD in Art History and Philosophy, Melbourne University (2002) and is currently completing his second PhD in Drawing and Art Therapy at the School of Art and Design, Monash University. Eiichi is an Honorary Fellow at the Philosophy Department, Melbourne University and was a Adjunct Research Fellow at the Japanese Studies Centre Monash University. Eiichi has taught various areas including art history, design theory, aesthetics, Western and Eastern philosophy and religion, Japanese culture (including Manga & Anime) and studio art. Eiichi is also keen on applying his own method of drawing to health and medical sciences area, especially in the brain training area.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Mondrian’s Theoretical Beginnings and Spiritual Background of Neoplastic Rhythm

    Tosaki, Eiichi

    Pages 1-39

  • Rhythm in Mondrian’s Early Theory of Painting

    Tosaki, Eiichi

    Pages 41-75

  • Dynamic Rhythm and Static Rhythm: Polemics of Mondrian’s Theory of Rhythm

    Tosaki, Eiichi

    Pages 77-103

  • Mondrian’s Rhythm and Contemporary Music (His Music Peers)

    Tosaki, Eiichi

    Pages 105-141

  • Concepts of Rhythm in Music, Philosophy and Painting

    Tosaki, Eiichi

    Pages 143-177

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1198-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1196-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Mondrian's Philosophy of Visual Rhythm
Book Subtitle
Phenomenology, Wittgenstein, and Eastern thought
Authors
Series Title
Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures
Series Volume
23
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-024-1198-0
DOI
10.1007/978-94-024-1198-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-024-1196-6
Series ISSN
2211-1107
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVII, 260
Number of Illustrations and Tables
4 b/w illustrations, 13 illustrations in colour
Topics