Essays

Gerhard Richter, Funeral

Hidden Forms: The Role of the Blur in Art

This essay arose as a reflection on Gerhard Richter’s huge ‘Panorama’ retrospective at the Tate Modern in 2011/12. It surveys the prolonged and varied use of ‘blurring’ in all its forms across art and music, finding some commonality in Richter’s fuzzy realism, Bridget Riley’s glowing abstractions, the ‘veil’ in Impressionist painting and the myriad examples of reverb, noise, inverted EQs and other obscurantist techniques in music.

Malevich's Black Square

Painting and Reality: Art as Analogy

This essay won the Abstract Critical Writer’s Prize 2013. It surveys the relationship between art and reality since Plato, recognising the occurrence of a fundamental shift with the development of Modernism in which art begins to form analogies to aspects of reality, rather than depictions of them.

Endgame

Beckett, Endgame and the Melancholia of Absurdity

What’s the nature of Beckett’s peculiar brand of melancholy? Focusing on Endgame, and the philosopher Stanley Cavell’s interpretation of that play, I trace a thread through all of Beckett’s work to isolate the essence of that strange anti-expression that animates his writing. This essay originally appeared on the now defunct ‘construct.org’.

David and Goliath

On the Underdog: How the Faroe Islands Toppled Greece

This article was published by Glory magazine, in their issue dedicated to the football culture of the Faroe Islands. Taking the famed Faroese victory over Greece in 2014 as its foundation, the article explores the phenomenon of ‘the underdog’ through David and Goliath, leftist politics and existentialist literature.

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