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Machian Epistemology and its Part in František Kupka's Painterly Cognition of Reality

John G. Hatch, The University of Western Ontario

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Dr. John Hatch has obtained the copyright holder's permission for posting this article online for free public access.

Abstract

A consensus has emerged amongst art historians that portrays the work the Czech painter, František Kupka (1871-1957), as fluctuating between differing styles and never resolving itself into one straightforward and single-minded direction beyond abstraction. Visually this is true, but for Kupka the visual was secondary in that it plays a subsidiary role to the process involved in the creation of the work itself. A failure to properly understand this process has resulted in an inaccurate reading of Kupka's art, essentially missing the point that his paintings embody in their imagery the cognitive process involved in their creation. Significantly, as I argue, the major contributing factor in terms of Kupka's development toward this position was the scientific philosophy of the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach.

Suggested Citation

John G. Hatch. "Machian Epistemology and its Part in František Kupka's Painterly Cognition of Reality" Slovo: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Russian, Eurasian, Central and East European Affairs 12 (2000): 51-69.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/johnhatch/3