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History of Art

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Kirstie Hardie

PhD supervisor: Rose Marie San Juan
Working title for PhD: 'Uncertain Bodies: The Transient Nature of Colour in Early Modern Italy'

My research analyses the potential of colour to act within a consistently fluctuating state of being. With general colour knowledge gravitating towards the scientific and material nature of colour properties from the 17th Century, there lies a gap in the philosophical application of colour in art during this period. Taking Early Modern Italy as a foundation, where colour is dealt with in a more visual capacity, the significant majority of texts focus on the monochromatic hues of chiaroscuro, neglecting the millions of unexplainable variations in evolving tones. Colour during the 17th Century is as unreliable and contradictory as within modern abstract art. Looking at the work of Julia Kristeva and David Batchelor, amongst others, I will assess the capability of colour to operate as an ‘in-between’ state between ‘flatland’ abstraction and narrative form when brand new notions of colour were coming to the forefront of art. Breaking this boundary would suppose the inconsistency of form and colour as an assumed state of being and interrupt the current distinction between colour as either based in language or form and see it driven by energy in both.