Isle of Wight Loft Studio

Reductionism
and the Art

Reductionism and the Art

Andrew Conway-Hyde discovered a kindred spirit in the understanding of the human mind in relation to colour. Nobel Laureate, Dr Eric Kandel, an esteemed medical professional in the realm of physiology, psychiatry, and neuroscience published his theories on Reductionism. Conway-Hyde explores these reductionist concepts in regards to the use of smaller components ability to increase comprehension and produce more effective responses than larger complex scientific or aesthetic ideas. Conway-Hyde builds upon this through the lens of art historians Ernst Kris and Ernst Gombrich’s psychological approach to understanding the perception of art and pattern. He utilizes this concept to break down the differences in experiencing figurative work to that of abstract pieces. A viewer is more inclined to ascribe individualized meaning to abstract works, as they do not strictly delineate subject as figurative works do, forcing the eye to draw upon memory which in turn creates an anatomical change in the brain. Conway-Hyde expanded his ideas on the empirical approach to understanding the fascination with art emphasizes the role of the viewer. Understanding the beholder of a work of art is an active participant as the unique lives, memories, and preferences of each viewer distils a different set of meanings. His reductionist approach to understanding these cognitive insights, emphasises abstractions ability to elicit imaginative experiences through minimalist means.

Conway-Hyde has been using his art as a catalyst for understanding the relationship between art and science. Kris, Gombrich, and Kandel’s theories have provided a better understanding in regards to viewer experience, memory recognition, and comprehension on the impact of reductionism; filling in the gaps of Conway-Hyde’s continued research.

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