Dennis Kardon: Painting & Intentionality

Dennis Kardon, Ice Bath, 2012, oil on linen, 36 x 30 inches (courtesy of the art
Dennis Kardon, Ice Bath, 2012, oil on linen, 36 x 30 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Sharon Butler blogs about a recent conversation with painter Dennis Kardon.

Butler writes: "During our wide-ranging conversation, Kardon revealed an interest in philosophy, particularly John Searle's theories of intentionality. Searle's work implies that when one perceives a painting, he or she apprehends not merely the object itself but a larger set of beliefs and understandings that the artist imparts to it, which reflect the decisions he makes in creating the painting. Accordingly, Kardon would like to see painters take greater control of the artistic process.

Kardon elaborates: "The larger art culture's regard for painting is partly so low because there is no longer any value conferred on the individual decisions made by a painter in the process of painting... I have to convince the world that representing consciousness is an important thing for paintings to represent. But to me, the nature of painting all boils down to the nature of the decisions a painter makes. So Searle has made me pay very close attention to the decisions, both automatic and fully intentional, that I make when I paint, and how those decisions manifest themselves as a part of my intentionality."