Neither sight nor touch is able at the outset to localize impressions. But we must be grouped, that was the opinion of all.”21 Salon Cubist Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes similarly recalls how Gleizes and Metzinger aimed “to establish a kind of legislation of the Cubist movement.”22. It is only through establishing this developmental logic that The First Disk can properly resist its current characterization as an art historically significant, if otherwise inexplicable, “fluke.”, This happened in 1912. Unable to clearly separate physiological effect from representational form, the viewer is folded into an indeterminate space that combines the perception of movement with the stasis of the image. Within this newly formed optical paradigm, a split emerges between the study of light and color as independent phenomena within the physical world (prismatic light) and of light and color as they are experienced subjectively through the physiological and cognitive processes of the body. We see, therefore, the quiet turns of The First Disk as a perceptual effect, produced through the chromatic vibrations of simultaneous contrast. The emphasis on optical phenomena in the Windows has led art historians to characterize Delaunay as a “retinalist,” a term of disparagement coined by the Cubists to denigrate the “superficial realism” of Impressionism. . It is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal. In the process of viewing The First Disk, the colors that are perceived exist both physiologically within the eye as a result of retinal mixing and as a material property of the pigment, immanent and bound to the painted surface.76 Color butts against color in The First Disk to produce retinal effects of simultaneous contrast that seem to belong at once to the interiority of the eye and to the exteriority of the painted surface. © 2002-2018 Yve-Alain Bois has pointed out that one of the crucial distinctions between visual perception and pure optical information is precisely the absence of a figure-ground distinction in the latter: “To perceive is first of all to perceive a figure against a ground (this is the basic definition of perception). It is this visual indeterminacy-an indeterminacy that blurs the distinction between the viewing subject and its painted object-that relates The First Dish back to the optical model first established in the Windows. It is crucial to Delaunay’s project that our perceptual experience of the Windows not rest with this initial sensory view of color and tactile surface but that it extend into an acquired perception of form determined through experiential knowledge. Painting and Sculpture “Seeing” a Cubist painting, for Kahnweiler, constitutes more an act of conception-of cognitive assembly-than an act of vision: “When ‘real’ details are thus introduced the result is a stimulus that carries with it memory images. Given this explicit and public disavowal of Cubism-a disavowal already picked up on by critics-what was it exactly, vis–vis Cubism, that Delaunay was disassociating himself from? We learn, over a period of time, to make sense of what we see and what we know. Please. All of these images make sense. As Delaunay claimed: “That’s what I tried to realize with my simultanism, that which can properly be called static movement.”79. This discrepancy in the retinal image is crucial to the visual process, as the brain compares the slight differences within the eyes as a means to generate depth perception.41 Finally, pure optical information as it is registered on the concave surface of the retina is completely two-dimensional. Setting the stage for our seeing, Delaunay tells us his painting is a window. But the star and planet, refracted by light, go undescribed in any literal way. If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected]. Given Delaunay’s renown for cityscapes of Paris, and the Eiffel Tower especially, it stands to reason that we should come to see the tower. 1.1954. The two small windows on a building front follow in the lower part of the frame. Robert Delaunay has already come to occupy an important place among the artists of his generation.”11 Two weeks later, he singled out Delaunay’s La ville de Paris in his review of the Salon des Indpendants.

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