Theory of Vision

Military Man, n.d. Gift of the Estate of Deborah Russell.

Military Man, n.d., Gift of the Estate of Deborah Russell.

Glenn Howarth is set apart, as an individual and as an artist, by his particular view of the world and his obsession with the science behind seeing it. His artistic fascinations with perception and phenomenology coincided with a highly creative and sensitive outlook. Howarth derived his theory of vision from the philosopher M. Merleau-Ponty and maintained that the eyes clearly see what they are directly focused on, and all peripheral vision is blurred: “The head looks,” says Howarth “the averted eye sees, the focused eye recognizes.” He thought that compositions should be constructed from this “side-vision.”