An Ontology of Images and Painterly Subjectivity
: Towards a Bergsonian Philosophy of Art

  • Ryan D. Lewis

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This investigation attempts to consider the identity of the contemporary Bergsonian philosophy of immanence by reflection on key conceptualisations from the work of Henri Bergson. From the view that thinking Bergsonian is an attitude of philosophy that anticipates the metaphysics of a philosophy of process, the demands of the emergence of thinking in art plays a role the directions of philosophical development. It is by this concern that key Bergsonian concepts serve as grounding of philosophical reflections of the related themes of time, images, and movement, and the change of thinking, towards an encounter of the practice of philosophy through the process of painting. Under the rubric of contemporary process metaphysics in art, we will attempt to establish a conceptual framework from principle Bergsonian conceptualizations, to acknowledge the process of painting as a different methodology of philosophy. This study of philosophy through painting then becomes a corresponding philosophy of the difference of thinking and the challenges to go beyond its identity. Proceeding by Bergsonian conceptualisations, to frame the context for a philosophy of painting, the question of the identity of painting is situated according to the didactic philosophies of Wassily Kandinsky. The comparisons and philosophical engagement between Bergsonian thinking and Kandinskian painting will be mediated by the counter interpretations of the philosophy of Michel Henry. The motivation to return to Bergsonian, exercised by a synthesis of Bergson’s concepts and Kandinsky’s theoretical practice, is situated according to an understanding of the identity of painting according to the terms of an ontology of images. In terms of a Bergsonian account of image, supported by a Kandinskian perspective, the focus will be towards the possibilities of philosophy and the metaphysics of becoming through the process of painting.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SponsorsGrund Publishing
    SupervisorTodd Mei (Supervisor) & John Mullarkey (Supervisor)


    • Bergson
    • Philosophy
    • Abstraction
    • Kandinsky
    • Post-phenomenology
    • Art
    • Philosophy of art
    • Michel Henry
    • Image
    • Ontology
    • Painterly
    • Subjectivity
    • Theory of colour
    • Frame
    • Line
    • Expression

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