1st Edition

The Iconology of Abstraction Non-figurative Images and the Modern World

Edited By Krešimir Purgar Copyright 2020
    294 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book uncovers how we make meaning of abstraction, both historically and in present times, and examines abstract images as a visual language.

    The contributors demonstrate that abstraction is not primarily an artistic phenomenon, but rather arises from human beings’ desire to imagine, understand and communicate complex, ineffable concepts in fields ranging from fine art and philosophy to technologies of data visualization, from cartography and medicine to astronomy.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in image studies, visual studies, art history, philosophy and aesthetics.



    Should Abstract Images Have Their "own" Iconology?

    Krešimir Purgar


    1. Why Pictures are Signs? The Semiotics of (Non)Representational Pictures

    Winfried Noth

    Part 1: History and Theory of Abstraction

    2. The Founding of Abstraction: Wilhelm Worringer and the Avant-Garde

    Anselm Treichler

    3. The Iconology of Malevich’s Suprematist Crosses

    Marie Gaspter-Hulvat

    4. Literality and Non-Referentiality in the Abstraction of Objecthood

    Blaženka Perica

    5. Representational Abstract Pictures

    Regina-Nino Mion

    6. What is Abstraction in Photography?

    Diarmuid Costello 

    PART 2: Philosophy of Abstraction

    7. Abstraction and Transperceptual Space

    Paul Crowther

    8. The Visualization of Temporality in the Abstract Paintings of Barnett Newman

    Claude Cernuschi 

    9. Rethinking Abstraction Post-Phenomenologically: Michel Henry and Henri Maldiney

    Bruno Lessard 

    PART 3: Redefining Abstraction—Analog vs. Digital  

    10. Visual Music and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde Synesthaesia to Digital Technestaesia

    Michael Betancourt 

    11. Ecology and Climatology in Modern Abstract Art

    Linn Burchert 

    12. Digital Abstraction: Interface between Electronic Media Art and Data Visualization

    Birgit Mersmann

    13. Towards a Transsensorial Technology of Abstraction (Ekstraction)

    Clemens C. Finkelstein 

    14. Digital Landscapes of the Internet: Glitch Art, Vaporwave, Spectacular Cyberspace

    Dario Vuger

    PART 4: Abstraction in Science and Technology

    15. The Material Site of Abstraction: Grid-based Data Visualisation in Brain Scans

    Silvia Casini

    16. Reference and Affect: Visual Abstraction in Computation and the Neurosciences

    Michael Reinsborough 

    17. Reality Effect of (Abstract) Maps in Post-Digital Era

    Ana Peraica


    18. Visualizing the End of Visibility: M87* Event-Horizon Image

    Yanai Toister


    Krešimir Purgar is Associate Professor in the Academy of Arts and Culture at J. J. Strossmayer University, Osijek, Croatia.