The Objective Eye: Color, Form, and Reality in the Theory of Art

Stephen Mulhall writes:

Although this is a work of art theory, its primary concern is not with beauty, or aesthetic value more generally, but rather with the nature of pictorial representation. After all, before we can judge whether a representational painting achieves aesthetic excellence in the way it depicts something, we must first perceive what it depicts. And John Hyman is interested in how depiction is even possible. The rigorous clarity and elegant concision of Hyman’s writing – literary virtues to which the best analytical philosophy has always aspired – carry his reader through even the most challenging sections. No one will come away from his book without having learned a great deal about one of the most familiar mysteries of human culture.

LRB 25 January 2007