Basel, eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image
Between Figure and Ground: Seeing in Premodernity
The terms “figure” and “ground” became fundamental to art critique and art historical scholarship over the course of the twentieth century. However, to what extent these dichotomies can describe premodern art and artifacts remains largely unquestioned. The international conference "Between Figure and Ground: Seeing in Premodernity" aims to critique and expand vocabularies used to describe, analyze, and interpret medieval and early modern pictures. The conference brings together art history, image theory (Bildwissenschaft), historiography, and methodological reflections. It offers the opportunity to productively revise anachronistic attachments to modernist paradigms. What can be seen and described between picture planes and pictorial spaces and thus between figure and ground?
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