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Reuniting the Mind and Body

Title: Reuniting the Mind and Body: Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate and Phenomenological Experience.
Name(s): Matthews, Traci McDowell, author
Bearor, Karen A., professor directing thesis
Carrasco, Michael D., committee member
Leitch, Stephanie, committee member
Department of Art History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Cloud Gate, a monumental, sculptural-structure by artist Anish Kapoor, provides the focal point of this paper. I demonstrate through an exposition of specific art critical, art historical, and phenomenological reasoning why Cloud Gate functions as an agent of embodied awareness. Despite Cloud Gate's high-profile status within a burgeoning family of abstract public art, scholarship does not adequately address its appropriation of features from the 1960s minimalist idiom; its indebtedness to theoretical concerns explored by New Generation or abstract modern sculptors; or its tacit condition as an object representative of concerns within phenomenological discourse. I utilize a three-pronged methodology to address these gaps in the knowledge base related to Cloud Gate. First, I analyze a facet of mid-twentieth-century art-critical discourse pertaining to formal shifts in sculptural media. I examine the polemical interaction between Michael Fried and Rosalind Krauss to discern how their thinking hastened the propagation of monumental, abstract art within the public sphere. Next, I perform a stylistic analysis of selected objects from Kapoor's oeuvre. In part, this analysis is positioned within the framework of Krauss's Klein group schema, which provides a scholarly basis for introducing the idea of sculptural interiority and exteriority. I juxtapose specific sculptures and sculptural-structures by Kapoor with works of similar scale by New Generation sculptor Phillip King and modern abstract sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Alexander Calder. Finally, with an art historical framework in place supporting notions of how Kapoor's Cloud Gate alters ambient space and implies abstract ideas of bodyhood, I investigate two other installations by the artist. Memory and Whiteout demonstrate how he has become increasingly concerned with specific facets of phenomenological theory. I expose how Kapoor's exploration of these themes manifests in Cloud Gate, producing a monumental, public sculpture capable of making one aware of embodied human nature, as well as the concerns of being an individual with stakes in the public sphere. The paper concludes with a synopsis of how this analysis intersects existing scholarship on Kapoor. Further, I outline a few of the many directions in which this research could be expanded at a later date.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2669 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Art History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2010.
Date of Defense: March 30, 2010.
Keywords: Klein Group, Rosalind Krauss, Michael Fried, Phenomenology, Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Phillip King, Minimalism, New Generation, Public Sculpture, Monumental Sculpture, Abstract Sculpture, Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, Anish Kapoor
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Karen A. Bearor, Professor Directing Thesis; Michael D. Carrasco, Committee Member; Stephanie Leitch, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Art -- History
Archaeology -- History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Matthews, T. M. D. (2010). Reuniting the Mind and Body: Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate and Phenomenological Experience. Retrieved from