Thomas Schlesser, «l'Univers sans l'homme»

Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 07 PM, Free admission

Participant(s)

Listen to the lecture on France Culture Plus: Patrick Javault invites art historian Thomas Schlesser on the occasion of the launch of his book, l'Univers sans l'homme.


For two and a half centuries, art has depicted and described the forces which classify human beings in a very spectacular way. No longer the invisible forces of divinity but the uprisings of nature, the immensity of time and space, the uncontrollable consequences of scientific progress on the living. Yes, numerous artists – amongst them the most brilliant, from Turner to Pierre Huyghe and from Claude Monet to Stanley Kubrick – have shown how man has felt his sense of centrality in the universe slip away; on the one hand, they have represented this fundamental crisis by putting his presence into perspective and, on the other, by expressing the delightful mysteries or nightmarish threats of the universe within which he moves. Besides, this book, which favours painting but at the same time associates with sculpture or cinema, reveals and helps understand Edenic virgin landscapes, vegetal and animal beauties, the mortifying fury of the elements, the fanaticism of a completely mechanized civilization, the leap into abstraction, the soul of things or even the anticipation of the Apocalypse… By following a chronological path from 1755 to our day, he recounts, in a very accessible way, the great events of history (the earthquake in Lisbon, the atomic bomb etc.), science (Darwin’s scientific discoveries, the conquest of Space), and personal events (Friedrich’s childhood dramas, the mystic crisis of De Chirico), which lead artists to show what is, according to Baudelaire’s magnificent expression, “the Universe without man”.

Thomas Schlesser is director of the Foundation Hartung-Bergman in Antibes and professor of art history at the Ecole Polytechnique. He has published about fifteen works, including Le Journal de Courbet (Courbet’s journal) and Les Énigmes de la peinture – la beauté (The enigmas of painting – beauty) with Hazan publications.


 

Photo Gallery - Slideshow

Thomas Schlesser, L'Univers sans l'homme, 2016, Hazan Editions
"L'Univers sans l'Homme" conference view, with Thomas Schlesser and Patrick Javault
"L'Univers sans l'Homme" conference view, with Thomas Schlesser and Patrick Javault
"L'Univers sans l'Homme" conference view, with Thomas Schlesser and Patrick Javault
"L'Univers sans l'Homme" conference view, with Thomas Schlesser and Patrick Javault

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