May 2011, Awarded PhD in Art History
Artist and Art Historian Mark Staff Brandl earns PhD with creative dissertation on visual art and metaphor theory
Mark Staff Brandl was awarded his PhD in Art History, magna cum laude, from the University of Zurich Switzerland on 20 May 2011.
He wrote his PhD dissertation on an original theory of metaphor in visual art.
Dr Brandl's book, titled Metaphor(m): Engaging a Theory of Central Trope in Art, presents and embodies his thesis that the formal, technical and stylistic aspects of artists' approaches concretely manifest content in culturally and historically antithetical ways through a uniquely discovered trope. His philosophy, termed metaphor(m) or the theory of central trope, is grounded in conceptual metaphor and cognitive science, particularly that of George Lakoff, as well as Harold Bloom's idea of poetic misprision. Brandl's concept is applied to painting, installation at, electronic media, the expanded text concept, art history timeline models, comics, and artistic cultural inheritance. This dissertation is in the traditional form of a book, but with the addition of paintings and sections in sequential comic form as well as an actual installation comprised largely of paintings.
The famed philosopher Arthur Danto says of Brandl's dissertation that "there cannot be many dissertations that are quite that creative and colorful." Art historian James Elkins concurs, saying "it is the most colorful dissertation ever!"
Brandl's dissertation is now in the process of being expanded and translated into an art exhibition and installation with the curatorial advice of Markus Landert, Director of the Art Museum of Thurgovia Switzerland.
Mark Staff Brandl was born in 1955 near Chicago, where he lived for many years. He has lived primarily in Switzerland since 1988. Before earning his PhD, he studied at the University of Illinois (B.F.A. in Painting), Illinois State University (Art History), Columbia Pac University (M.A. in Art History and Literature).
He is docent in art history and painting at the Art Academy of Liechtenstein and the Higher Technical College for Visual Art, St.Gallen Switzerland. Brandl is active internationally as an artist since 1980, has won various awards, had many publications and had numerous exhibitions. His shows include galleries and museums in the US, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Egypt, the Caribbean; specific cities include Paris, Moscow, Chicago, Los Angeles, London and New York. As a critic, he is a contributor to London's The Art Book, Chicago's Proximity magazine and New York's Art in America. Works of his have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the St.Gallen Art Museum, the Art Museum of Thurgovia, The E.T.H. Graphic Collection in Zurich, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the International Museum of Cartoon Art, the Art Museum Olten and others.
Link for images: http://www.markstaffbrandl.com/press-images/BrandlPhD_images.html