Essays on Art, Aesthetics, and Culture
1. Heidegger’s Van Gogh
It’s certainly a question of feet and of many other things …
— Jacques Derrida
This essay is devoted to some aspects of Heidegger’s philosophy of art as expressed in his essay “Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes” (The Origin of the Work of Art), first given as a lecture in 1935 and 1936, and published in Holzwege in 1950.1 Some people would say that the title of my essay is a misnomer and argue that Heidegger never formulated a philosophy of art. Others would claim that Heidegger’s most profound thinking on art is contained in his later lectures and essays on poetry, especially on the poetry of Hölderlin. Whatever view one takes on the centrality of the Holzwege essay, it cannot be denied that “The Origin of the Work of Art” raises many important questions in the philosophy of art as well as about Heidegger’s approach to art.
In the next few pages I shall discuss the character and aims of Heidegger’s essay. The first part of my essay is devoted to an examination of Heidegger’s interpretation of a painting by van Gogh and the critical discussion of Heidegger’s use of van Gogh’s painting — a debate to which Derrida devoted his essay “Restitutions de la vérité en pointure” in La Vérité en peinture (1978).2 In the second part I discuss Heidegger’s elaborations of the view that art works have a world-revealing and world-disclosing nature.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.