Visual Slippages between the Picture Plane and the Painting Surface

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  • Title: Visual Slippages between the Picture Plane and the Painting Surface: Richard Estes’ Double Self-Portrait (1976)
  • Author(s): Donal Moloney
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review
  • Keywords: Painting, Picture Plane, Painting Surface, Scopic Regime, Cartesian perspectivalism, Twofoldness, Lacanian gaze, Richard Estes
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 1833-1866 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2473-5809 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1833-1866/CGP/v12i01/1-13
  • Citation: Moloney, Donal. 2017. "Visual Slippages between the Picture Plane and the Painting Surface: Richard Estes’ Double Self-Portrait (1976)." The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review 12 (1): 1-13. doi:10.18848/1833-1866/CGP/v12i01/1-13.
  • Extent: 13 pages

Abstract

This article focuses on a particular visual slippage that may occur at the point where the picture plane and the painting surface might intersect in Richard Estes’ “Double Self Portrait.” Firstly, I draw on one specific scopic regime, Cartesian perspectivalism, and, in particular, Leon Battista Alberti’s concept of the picture plane as an “open window” (Alberti 1967, 56). Secondly, I investigate how Richard Wollheim’s concept of twofoldness and Hal Foster’s writing on the Lacanian gaze might facilitate visual slippages between different scopic regimes associated with representational painting such as Estes’ (Wollheim 1980; Foster 1996). Throughout this article, I look at how aspects of Cartesian perspectivalism, twofoldness and the Lacanian gaze might combine to form amalgamations of scopic regimes within a scopic field. This serves as a foundation for my hypothesis that there may be a particular oscillation between different ways of looking contained within Estes’ ‘Double Self-Portrait”: looking through the surface, looking across the surface and a form of being looked at from inside the surface.