• Klein tried to justify the “phenomenological” metaphor in contemporary art, especially modern  painting. Klein suggested that the debut of modern art signified the suppression of “reference” (the real or ideal object against which the work used to be measured); it is no longer an expression or imitation because of their nature as “masks.” For Klein, this type of artistic activity faced the danger of “turning its back on us,” thus leading to unfinished, ambiguous, and informal. Because in order to avoid the slightest suggestion of that process articulated by idea, realization, model, or effect, the artist “must” paints “before he thinks,” by “reflexes, splashes, or irrational gestures,” or simply “signs a readymade.” Maybe phenomenological art is impossible, because, by abandoning any “reference,” the work can only be measured against itself. I am not sure that I agree with Klein, especially since he put dada and later cubism into the same basket, and I am not quite in agreement with his assertion that “there is no longer any work, since the work is, despite everything, a reality opposed to the consciousness that poses it.” I think the work does not necessarily have to be an opposition, but rather, according to MP, a medium, as what the essential structure of experience as consciousness (the intentionality of experience) can do is to “give” or “contact” an object. And the phenomenological reduction does not imply a requirement to reveal the intentional structure masked by reality of the object; the reduction does not really change the way we see the reality. I believe Klein’s problem is that he did not really draw a distinction, which is, in fact, radical, between scientific and phenomenological experience.
Posted by:Liyang DING

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