1968, BA Fine Art, St. Martin’s School of Art
1970, MA History of Art, London University
At present I teach a third year BA special subject, ‘The Truth in Painting,’ and a first year BA lecture course. ‘Modernities’.
Areas of supervision
I have supervised dissertations on philosophy and the monumental, documentary and social practice, projective space, and interpretations of the image in aesthetics. I would consider proposals on themes and problems concerning painting and phenomenology.
2011 ‘On not preferring blindness: from Michel Henry to Caravaggio’, ‘Bergson Legacies’ conference, Courtauld Institute of Art
2011 ‘A heartfelt gesture: distance, illusion and feeling in seventeenth-century painting’ (on Caravaggio); History of Art Dept., University of St Andrews.
2010 ‘A heartfelt gesture: illusion, separation and feeling in baroque realism’; Early Modern research seminar, UCL
2009 ‘A heartfelt gesture: distance, deception and sincerity in seventeenth - century painting’; Dept. History of Art, University of Warwick
2008 ‘Horizons: Painting as practical phenomenology’; Fifth Central and Eastern European Conference on Phenomenology, ‘Corporeity and Affectivity’, Prague.
2006 ‘Act and Object’, in Merleau-Ponty session of CAA conference, Boston.
2004 ‘Discernment’, IAPL conference, ‘Writing Aesthetics’, Leeds.
2003 ‘Varying the self: Bacon’s variations on van Gogh’, IAPL ‘Intermedialities’ conference, Rotterdam.
1996 ‘“The Great White South”: the Antarctic photographs of Herbert Ponting and Frank Hurley’, given at ‘Landscape and Myth’ conference, European Cultural Centre of Delphi.
1992 ‘Unseeing eyes’ (on Géricault), given at the Art Historians’ Association Conference, Leeds.
My general research interests concern phenomenology, Bergsonian philosophy, and themes of embodiment and selfhood, as these bear on painting in particular and on visual culture in general. I approach philosophy as a historian rather than a philosopher, which for me entails situating both philosophical concepts and artistic practices historically, in relation to shared concerns or common points of reference. I have written on art of periods ranging between the seventeenth century and the present, with a recurrent emphasis on realism. Merleau-Ponty has been central to my research, not only due to his preoccupation with painting, but also because of a (historical) question arising from that: to the extent that the philosopher is justified in seeing the work of certain painters (Cézanne and Klee in particular) as enacting his themes in practice, how should this come to be so, and on what basis might his ideas hold for other painters, or for painting in general? I am researching a book concerning the tacit (but not fortuitous or narrowly personal) basis on which paintings may come to have meaning imparted to them by painters and (independently) by viewers, across time. Latterly I have become interested in the radical phenomenology of Michel Henry. I have a parallel research interest in the cinema of Robert Bresson.
Realism in 20th Century Painting (Mandarin edition)
Prendeville, Brendan. 2015. Realism in 20th Century Painting (Mandarin edition). Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-7-5322-9195-3
‘Democratic light: phenomenology and the worldliness of painting’
Prendeville, Brendan. 2018. ‘Democratic light: phenomenology and the worldliness of painting’. In: Malcolm Baker and Andrew Hemingway, eds. Art as Worldmaking: Critical essays on Realism and Naturalism. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 165-180. ISBN 978-1-5261-1490-7
Competing futures, precarious community: realism in post-war Britain
Prendeville, Brendan. 2017. Competing futures, precarious community: realism in post-war Britain. In: Andrew Hemingway and Alex Potts, eds. Kunst und Politik 19: Realism in Modern British and American Art. 19 Göttingen: V & R Unipress, pp. 59-71. ISBN 978-3-8471-0815-3
Painting the Invisible: time, matter and the image in Bergson and Michel Henry
Prendeville, Brendan. 2013. Painting the Invisible: time, matter and the image in Bergson and Michel Henry. In: John Mullarkey and Charlotte de Mille, eds. Bergson and the Art of Immanence. Edinburgh University Press, pp. 189-205. ISBN 978-1474404730
Seurat and the act of sensing: perception as artefact
Prendeville, Brendan. 2009. Seurat and the act of sensing: perception as artefact. In: Paul Smith, ed. Seurat re-viewed. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, pp. 149-162. ISBN 978-0-271-03545-1
Merleau-Ponty, Realism and Painting: Psychophysical Space and the Space of Exchange.
Prendeville, Brendan. 2006. Merleau-Ponty, Realism and Painting: Psychophysical Space and the Space of Exchange. In: Ted Toadvine, ed. Merleau-Ponty: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers, vol. 2: Perception and Expression. Routledge, pp. 300-329. ISBN 9780415363990
Seurat and the Act of Sensing: Perception as Artefact
Prendeville, Brendan. 2004. Seurat and the Act of Sensing: Perception as Artefact. In: T. Fischer-Seidel; S. Peters and A. Potts, eds. Perception and the Senses / Sinneswahrnehmung. A. Francke Verlag, pp. 165-187. ISBN 3772080405
‘Motion and rest: the sculptor’s search for order’
Prendeville, Brendan. 1984. ‘Motion and rest: the sculptor’s search for order’. In: , ed. Sculpture’s Dance. London: Arts Council, pp. 48-55.
Prendeville, Brendan. 1981. ‘Constructed Sculpture’. In: Sandy Nairne and Nicholas Serota, eds. British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century. London: Whitechapel Gallery, pp. 209-221. ISBN 978-0854880546
That uncertain object: David Sylvester’s conception of criticism as a personal affair
Prendeville, Brendan. 2014. That uncertain object: David Sylvester’s conception of criticism as a personal affair. Tate Papers, 21, ISSN 1753-9854
A Heartfelt Gesture: Separation and Feeling, Darkness and Illusion in Caravaggio
Prendeville, Brendan. 2013. A Heartfelt Gesture: Separation and Feeling, Darkness and Illusion in Caravaggio. Oxford Art Journal, 36(2), pp. 185-206. ISSN 0142-6540
'The Angel's Ear and She Is Love: New Sculpture by Charles Hewlings'
Prendeville, Brendan. 2012. 'The Angel's Ear and She Is Love: New Sculpture by Charles Hewlings'. Exhibition catalogue, The Cut Art Centre,
‘The essence of vision: recent paintings by Gina Medcalf’
Prendeville, Brendan. 2009. ‘The essence of vision: recent paintings by Gina Medcalf’. exhibition catalogue, The Cut Art Centre,
The Meanings of Acts: Agnes Martin and the Making of Americans
Prendeville, Brendan. 2007. The Meanings of Acts: Agnes Martin and the Making of Americans. Oxford Art Journal, 31(1), pp. 51-73. ISSN 0142-6540
Merleau-Ponty, Realism and Painting: Psychophysical Space and the Space of Exchange
Prendeville, Brendan. 1999. Merleau-Ponty, Realism and Painting: Psychophysical Space and the Space of Exchange. Art History, 22(3), pp. 364-388. ISSN 0141-6790
‘The Features of Insanity, as seen by Géricault and by Büchner’
Prendeville, Brendan. 1995. ‘The Features of Insanity, as seen by Géricault and by Büchner’. Oxford Art Journal, 18(1), pp. 96-115. ISSN 0142-6540