Gestalt in Motion: Wholeness, Systems and Perception in Post-War British Art

Kate Sloan

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Second World War developments in the science of visual perception prompted a series of publications in the post-war years that influenced the visual arts in Britain, including J.J. Gibson’s Perception of the Visual World. This article looks at the evolution of these new theories of visual perception and how they connect with the application of Gestalt principles to visual arts practice. Looking at the post-war trends towards collage, constructivism and assemblage, I argue that these material approaches were influenced by the contemporaneous and cross-disciplinary debates around Gestalt in the systems age. The crossovers between biology and technology are discussed and placed in the context of the wartime genesis of these debates on organized form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-224
Number of pages25
JournalVisual Culture in Britain
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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