On the Relationship of Landscape and Painting

Gökhan Balik, Deniz Balık Lökçe


This paper intends to sketch out how the understanding of landscape has changed today, using painting as an interpretative tool. As this paper argues, the contemporary sense of landscape is considered through historical, political, social, cultural, and aesthetic facets. Differentiating from the Kantian notion of landscape as an aesthetic category in the domain of visual arts, it has achieved multiple layers of meaning, rather than only referring to gardens and agricultural areas. The extent of the landscape began to change in the 19th century due to industrialization, exploration of new territories, and the development of technology, botany, and geography. Since the 20th century, the concept has also included immaterial constituents in addition to technological, cultural, and social developments. It has become a social construct as an expression of ideas, memories, imagination, and feelings. Pointing to an active and flowing system, rather than a static and visual one, today, the landscape is grasped as an interdisciplinary and collaborative production. It defies distinct urban zonings and proposes ambiguity, vagueness, and contradiction, as it expands the issue through the concepts of anti-landscape and non-landscape. Anti-landscape indicates marginalized and unsuccessfully man-modified lands, whereas non-landscape describes unused and neglected lands. This paper traces the shift of landscape as a dynamic force in the recent paintings of the contemporary Turkish artist, Yıldız Arun. Her works in landscape, anti-landscape, and non-landscape reflect immateriality and immanence as a dynamic and interactive system. In her paintings, the landscape emerges as an affective field of an internal order with a capacity to transmit affects and sensations in Deleuzian sense. It becomes a force field, which flows into a multiplicity of intensities, revealed by layers of colors, lines, and brush strokes. The juxtaposition of spirituality and materiality turns her canvases into generative fields of multiple encounters affected by each stroke. As this paper shows, the landscape does not point to a pre-defined, extrinsic, static, and visual area, but a force field in flux, with a capacity to produce potentials, reciprocal relations, and immanent affects.

Article received: April 17, 2019; Article accepted: June 23, 2019; Published online: September 15, 2019; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Balik Gökhan, Deniz Balık Lökçe. "On the Relationship of Landscape and Painting." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 19 (2019): 29-44. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i19.305


landscape architecture; anti-landscape; non-landscape; landscape painting; visual arts; artist

Full Text:



Antrop, Marc. “A Brief History of Landscape Research.” In The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies, edited by Peter Howard, Ian Thompson, and Emma Waterton, 12–22. London, New York: Routledge, 2013.

Antrop, Marc and Veerle Van Eetvelde. Landscape Perspectives: The Holistic Nature of Landscape. Dordrecht: Springer, 2017.

Arun, Yıldız. “Yıldız Arun: Contemporary Artist & Traveler,” Accessed June 22, 2019. https://yildizarun.wixsite.com/yildizarun

Bigell, Werner. “Fear and Fascination: Anti-Landscapes between Material Resistance and Material Transcendence.” In The Anti-Landscape, edited by David E. Nye and Sarah S. Elkind, 129–48. Leiden: Rodopi, 2014.

Bigell, Werner and Cheng Chang. “The Meanings of Landscape: Historical Development, Cultural Frames, Linguistic Variation, and Antonyms.” Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 5, 1 (2014): 84–103.

Claval, Paul. “The Languages of Rural Landscapes.” In European Rural Landscapes: Persistence and Change in a Globalising Environment, edited by Hannes Palang, Helen Sooväli, Marc Antrop, and Gunhild Setten, 11–39. Dordrecht: Springer, 2004.

Cosgrove, Denis E. “Introduction to Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape.” In Landscape Theory, edited by James Elkins and Rachael Ziady DeLue, 17–42. London, New York: Routledge, 2008.

DeLue, Rachael Ziady. “Elusive Landscapes and Shifting Grounds.” In Landscape Theory, edited by James Elkins and Rachael Ziady DeLue, 3–14. London, New York: Routledge, 2008.

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, trans. Daniel W. Smith. London, New York: Continuum, 2004.

Freud, Sigmund. The Uncanny, trans. D. McLintock. London: Penguin Books, 2003.

Gilpin, William. “The Principles of Painting Considered, So Far as They Relate to Prints.” In Art in Theory 1648–1815: An Anthology of Changing Ideas, edited by Charles Harrison, Paul Wood, and Jason Gaiger, 820–23. Malden, Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.

Gilpin, William. “On Picturesque Beauty.” In Art in Theory 1648–1815: An Anthology of Changing Ideas, edited by Charles Harrison, Paul Wood, and Jason Gaiger, 857–62. Malden, Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.

Häyrynen, Maunu. “Lost Landscapes: Degraded Landscape as Anti-Landscape.” In The Anti-Landscape, edited by David E. Nye and Sarah S. Elkind, 149–58. Leiden: Rodopi, 2014.

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Aesthetic Judgment, edited and translated by James Creed Meredith. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911.

McTighe, Sheila. Nicolas Poussin’s Landscape Allegories. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Merkel, Jayne. “Urban American Landscape.” Architectural Design 77, 2 (2007): 36–47.

Moya Pellitero, Ana Maria. “Wasteland as Landscape: the Need of a New Perceptual Approach.” In Landscape and Ruins: Planning and Design for the Regeneration of Derelict Places: Proceedings of the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools Conference, edited by Adriana Ghersi, Francesca Mazzino, 97–105. Genova: Alinea Editrice, 2009.

Nicholson, Malcolm. Historical Introduction: Alexander von Humboldt Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent. London: Penguin, 1995.

Nomade, Sebastien et al. “A 36,000-Year-Old Volcanic Eruption Depicted in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave (Ardèche, France)?” Plos One 11, 1 (2016). Accessed July 20, 2019. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/ journal.pone.0146621#sec001.

Nye, David E. “Are Blackouts Landscapes?” American Studies in Scandinavia 39, 2 (2007): 72–84.

Olmsted, Frederick Law. Civilizing American Cities: Writings on City Landscapes, edited by S. B. Sutton. New York: Da Capo Press, 1997.

Schmitt, Axel K. et al. “Identifying the Volcanic Eruption Depicted in a Neolithic Painting at Catalhoyuk, Central Anatolia, Turkey.” PLoS ONE 9, 1 (2014). Accessed July 20, 2019. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id= 10.1371/journal.pone.0084711.

Shane, Grahame. “Recombinant Landscapes in the American City.” Architectural Design 77, 2 (2007): 24–35.

Vidler, Anthony. The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely. Cambridge, London: The MIT Press, 1994.

Wang, Chuan. “Historical Origins of Landscape Painting and Chinese Gardens.” Asian Social Science 5, 10 (2009): 137–39.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i19.305


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774

Contact: amjournal@outlook.com

Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Indexed in: ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M51-2019). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.