An image never represents a mere idea; it is never just an illustration. Thinking is constructed, shaped, and always develops through imagery. No thought comes to light, nor indeed casts a shadow, without being caused by an image, which itself becomes an insightful synthesis of a dimension of humanity. In this series (“Icons”), edited by Massimo Cacciari, authors from different backgrounds explore great icons of our cultural heritage – such as works by Mantegna, Pollock, Caravaggio, and Kiefer – that relate to key issues of our times.
Is it a mere tangle of randomness and uncertainty, or does it have a direction, perhaps even an underlying plan? This is the question that every individual asks at least once in observing his or her path in life. As we stand in front of a painting by Jackson Pollock, this is exactly what we would like to understand: is it the result of randomly dripped splashes of colour, or are those splashes meant to express something? Pollock is a symbol of pure energy, which only the rough and rural West could have produced. He forces us to reflect on the eternal interplay between order and chance, a game where we all play at mid-field: our initially rational intentions succumb to chaos and a range of event possibilities. We end up following a path that seems inexorable: whatever happens was pre-ordained and could not occur any differently, as in the perfection of Jackson Pollock’s “Number 1A”.
Paolo Legrenzi is professor emeritus of Psychology at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice.
I. Una storia americana
II. Regole e caso
III. Emozioni dappertutto
IV. Storie che finiscono, storie che iniziano
V. La nuova incertezza
Venti suggerimenti dalla storia di Jackson Pollock
Anteprima del testo delle prime cinque pagine a stampa del primo capitolo.
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