Topophilia and The Life: Critical Essay

Essay type:
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Cite this essay cite-image

Exploration of spaces through expanded sculpture and painting

This essay will examine different spaces, how they function, what spaces are they, and how their purpose is changing over time. It will define how the expanded sculpture and painting function within their specific spaces.

The surroundings that the artwork or the objects are being placed within, change their purpose and the way we look at them within the new concept. ‘’Sculpture and painting have been kneaded and stretched and twisted in an extraordinary demonstration of elasticity, a display of cultural term […] with vanguard aesthetics – the ideology of the new /’’

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place an order

It will be a comparison of Pollock pouring paintings and Frank Stella’s hard-edge paintings to define them in the space and how it is no longer painting, because it is based on a ‘specific object’. The critical philosophy here is phenomenology from Gaston Bachelard’s book called Poetics of Space.

Frank Stella- the Marriage of Reason and Squalor, enamel on canvas, 230.5 x 337.2 cm, 1959

Frank Stella’s geometric paintings are shaped canvases that underscore the idea of the painting as an object. It was considered to no longer be a painting because it wasn’t based on entity. He wanted the spectator to appreciate the color, shape, and structure alone, where the major influence on his painting was minimalism. It is a non-representational painting that alluded to underlying meanings, emotions, and narratives. Stella had challenged the very notion of the painting by declaring his flat canvases, structured reliefs, metal protrusions, and freestanding sculptures all to be paintings.

‘’My painting is based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there. All I want anyone to get out of my paintings and all I ever get out of them is the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion. What you see is what you see’’. (frank stella)

No more painting, because it is based on a specific object. Paintings became pictorial, which is the capacity to allow a viewer to see on the surface of a painting some depicted figure. ‘’painting continually opens out beyond itself while maintaining a nourishing link to what it has been (la Peinture de manet, 47 CZYYYY TO BYLOOO Tilmarsh, sp. cit. 32) (painting holds itself together as it expands by becoming increasingly systematic. The current account of painting is based on painting as an object. (less a picture to look into that painting-object (Foucault) or ‘an object to see ‘ (Perret)

Michael Fried said: […] gradual withdrawal of painting from the task of representing reality-or of reality from the power of painting to represent it/ ‘’ (Michael Fried: ‘’Three American painters: Noland, olitski, Stella 1965’)

The material properties of the painting are the flat surface, the coloration, and division of its surface, and the relation of this surface to its supports, whether frame or wall: which raised a number of problems for painters and critics throughout the 1960s. ‘demarcated picture plane’.

The frame separates the outer space, it allows us to see a picture to represent it that it is the picture we should be looking at.

Without the illusionistic techniques of picture making, the plane surface of the painting entertains a specific relation to the plane of the wall upon which it is placed. (plaszczyzna powierzchni obrazu ma okreslony zwiazek z plaszczyzna sciany)

‘’The plane is also emphasized and nearly single. It is clearly a plane one or two inches in front of another plane, the wall, and parallel to it. The relationship of the two planes is specific; it is a form. Everything on or slightly in the plane of the painting must be arranged laterally (judd specific object)

Stella’s derivative structure’, derivative with no expression, is not composed of the structure derives from the material qualities of the frame.

Donald Judd described them as ‘’specific object’ rather than sculpture or paintings.

You can set up a set of rules for the painting that you do follow. Where the rules are being presented in the artwork it becomes a systematic type of art with the several rules artists are coming up with to create their works like pollocks systematic set of rules of pouring the paint and Frank Stella’s hard edge paintings.

Jackson Pollock’s pouring paintings that were made during his ‘’drip period’’ between 1947 and 1950. Pollock Is expressing his emotions in his paintings by pouring the paint onto the canvas.

In Gaston Bachelard’s book called ‘Poetics of Space’, he describes different spaces and their poetics sense where he mainly focuses on our home to be ‘the space of our belongings’. It is a ‘felicitous’ space of the home and its domestic menage of tables, chairs, cupboards, and stairs. It is a psychological threshold between open and closed, inside and outside, arrival and departure, they are the spaces of the gathering through the memories and self-discovery. There is a psychological relationship between humans and space, most of it is shaped in domestic space, and this way modern hospices have sought to emulate. (sofa in the cafes) There is a special emphasis on the interior domestic space and its components like the rooms and the furniture or the objects placed within the space (eg…)

‘’all really inhabited space bears the essence of the notion of the home ‘’ (pg. 5)

‘’Imagination augments the values of reality’. (pg 3)

The house, the most intimate of all spaces ‘protects the daydreamer’’ and therefore understanding of the house is for Bachelard’s way of understanding the soul. It is the phenomenology of the soul and not the mind.

‘we are never real historians, but always near poets and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost’ (pg.6)

The desire can stop time. To produce the space that suspends time is through imagining. It is space not time which invokes the memories.

The top analysis examines the intimacy of the house room after room, space after space. these are not actual material rooms or spaces, but rather the dreamed, imagined, remembered, and read spaces, which allow us to come closer to the core of mental experience.

Psychoanalysis calls the subconscious into the conscious in order to help the ‘’homeless’’ find their sense of being in place. Topoanalysis as an aid for psychoanalysis, will examine the spaces through which we can exit the shelter of the subconscious and enter the conscious of our imagination.

Bachelard determines that the house has both unity and complexity, it is made out of memories and experiences, and its different parts arose different sensations yet it brings up a unit of any intimate experience of living. What Bachelard means is that memories of the house and its various parts are not something remembered, but rather something which is entwined with the present, a part of our ongoing current experience.

Topophilia term to describe his comments on happy places

To his notions of top analysis and topophilia introduced in the poetics of space Bachelard adds the physical dimension, arguing that our house is engraved into our flesh. The body is better at presenting detailed memories than the mind is. Other memories are harder to trace, and these can be revealed only by means of a poetic image.


  1. Donald Judd, 1965,’’ Specific Object’’, Arts Yearbook 8 & Donald Judd 1955-1968, (2002), 1-6
  2. Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, France: Presses Universitaires de France (1958), 241
  3. Rosalind Krauss, ‘’Sculpture in the Expanded Field’’, October, Vol. 8 (Spring 1979) The MIT Press, 30-44
Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this paper

Topophilia and The Life: Critical Essay. (2023, August 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Topophilia and The Life: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 17 Aug. 2023,
Topophilia and The Life: Critical Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
Topophilia and The Life: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Aug 17 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from:

Join our 150k of happy users

  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
Place an order

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.