Deleuze on Art: The Problem of Aesthetic Constructions

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This book presents an analysis of French post-structuralist philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s (1925-1995) late writings from the perspective of the problem of aesthetic constructions. The book conjectures that in the texts of Deleuze there is a recurrent turn to works of art, architecture, and the problem of aesthetic constructions in general. This interest becomes more overt in the writings that follow A Thousand Plateaus (1981) and reaches a certain programmatic density in What is Philosophy? (1991), a text that positions art as a distinct realm of invention, part of a universal triad alongside philosophy and science. In contrast to a reading that would focus on the philosophical or speculative content of his work, Deleuze on Art puts forward the presence of formal aesthetic criteria in his writings as a distinguishing and productive aspect of Deleuze’s work. These criteria and associated constructivist effects and principles contribute to establishing the conditions for a model of thinking as creation that is pluralist and multiple.
Can works of art produce not only visual and spatial effects but also render ideas manifest? Can movement be treated in architecture so that it changes our relation to time? In what ways can sculpture help us to think differently, in a more open and creative way? In the last decade of his life, Deleuze wrote about these and other questions, increasingly turning to art as a model for a new way of thinking. According to Deleuze, this other model of thought has the potential to lead to a new diagram of life and an alternate aesthetic tradition, one that differs from a classical tradition. The elaboration of this thesis is undertaken by means of a survey of the varying roles and characteristics of the problem of aesthetic constructions in the major late period writings of Deleuze.
Using examples from twentieth-century architecture, film, literature, painting and sculpture, this book follows Deleuze’s engagement with art to illustrate a new image of thought.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages153
ISBN (Print)9781443879002
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


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