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    Eye wandering the ceiling: ornament and the new Brutalism

    Crinson, Mark (2018) Eye wandering the ceiling: ornament and the new Brutalism. Art History 41 (2), pp. 318-343. ISSN 0141-6790.

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    Eduardo Paolozzi’s ceiling paper (1952) for the office of the engineer Ronald Jenkins suggests the significance of ornament to New Brutalism and, indeed, how New Brutalist concern with visual form linked categories of art, architecture, and design. This article argues that examination of the ceiling paper exposes not just New Brutalist re-working of an older modernist problematic, but also points to a broader range of New Brutalist works concerned with the ceiling, or the zone above our heads, both for its physiological and psychological implications. There were different positions on ornament within the Independent Group: some (Richard Hamilton) which seemed to suggest that ornamental strategies offered a way of articulating science and art together as common enterprises; others (Paolozzi and Nigel Henderson) which played on ornamental motifs and on ornament’s recursive logic. Key to the latter is the psycho-analysis of perception developed contemporaneously by Anton Ehrenzweig. Ehrenzweig provided a way of understanding ornament in anti-gestalt terms but also in terms of its physical relation to the embodied viewer.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Arts > History of Art
    Research Centres and Institutes: Architecture, Space and Society, Centre for
    Depositing User: Mark Crinson
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 12:35
    Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 10:55


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