All entries for Monday 04 October 2004

October 04, 2004

Klee and the superiority of painting

Follow-up to Klee and the separation of painting and music from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

Deleuze's claim that there is some kind of superiority of music over painting is perhaps a direct challenge to Klee's well known claim:

Polyphonic painting is superior to music in so far as the temporal element has more of a spatial quality. The sense of simultanaeity emerges in an enriched form. With his choice of an over-sized horizontal format, Delaunay endeavoured to accentuate the temporal dimension of the picture in the manner of a fugue. Painting and Music, Hajo Duchting, 1997, p.28

I suspect that Deleuze sees music as a more powerful, more free-ranging deterritorializing force, and hence calls it superior. For the very same reason, painting being more specific, itself closer to catastrophe, Klee sees it as superior.

Klee and Delaunay

From Duchting's Paul Klee:Painting and Music

Nature is imbued with a rhythm that in its multimplicity cannot be constrained. Art should imitate it in this, in order to purify itself to the same height of sublimity, to raise itself to visions of multiple harmonies, a harmony of colours seperating and coming together again in the same action. The synchronic action is the one, true subject of painting. p.24, taken from an essay by Delaunay translated by Klee