Professor Jason Gaiger

Professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory

Jason Gaiger’s principal research interests are in aesthetics and art theory from the mid-seventeenth century through to the present day; he also works on theories of depiction and visual meaning, and on twentieth-century and contemporary art practice and theory.

Jason studied art history and philosophy at the universities of St Andrews, Essex and Heidelberg, and he was previously Senior Lecturer and Director of Research in the Art History Department at the Open University. From 2010 to 2014 he was Head of the Ruskin School of Art and he is currently Director of Graduate Studies.


Aesthetics and Painting, London and New York: Continuum Press, 2008

Frameworks for Modern Art, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2003 (editor)

Art of the Twentieth Century: A Reader, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2003 (co-edited with Paul Wood)

Johann Gottfried Herder’s Sculpture: Some Observations on Shape and Form from Pygmalion’s Creative Dream, Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 2002 (editor and translator)

Art in Theory 1648-1815, Oxford: Blackwell, 2000 (with Charles Harrison and Paul Wood)

Art in Theory 1815-1900, Oxford: Blackwell, 1998 (with Charles Harrison and Paul Wood)


‘Projective and Ampliative Imagining’, in Philosophy of Sculpture: Historical Approaches, Contemporary Problems, ed. Kristin Gjesdal, Fred Rush and Ingvild Torsen, Routledge, 2020, pp. 17-32

‘Pictorial Experience and the Perception of Rhythm’, in The Philosophy of Rhythm: Aesthetics, Music, Poetics, ed. Peter Cheyne, Andy Hamilton and Max Paddison, Oxford University Press, 2019, pp. 303-330

‘The Temporality of Sculptural Viewing in Hemsterhuis’ Lettre sur la sculpture’, Sculpture Journal, Vol. 27(2), 2018, pp. 225-250

‘Can a Painting have a Rhythm?’, The British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 58(4), 2018, pp. 363-383

‘Transparency and Imaginative Engagement: Material as Medium in Lessing’s Laocoon’ in Rethinking Lessing’s Laocoon: Antiquity, Enlightenment, and the ‘Limits’ of Painting and Poetry, ed. Avi Lifschitz and Michael Squire, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 279-305

‘Intuition and Representation: Wölfflin’s Fundamental Concepts of Art History’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 33, No. 2, Spring 2015, pp. 164171

‘The Idea of a Universal Bildwissenschaft’, Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics, LI/VII, 2014, No. 2, pp. 208–29

‘Depiction, Make Believe and Participatory Imagining’, in The Secret Lives of Artworks: Exploring the Boundaries between Art and Life, ed. Caroline van Eck, Joris van Gastel and Elsje van Kessel, Leiden University Press, 2014

‘The Contemporaneity of Lessing’s Aesthetics’, in Lessing and the German Enlightenment, ed. Ritchie Robertson, SVEC: Voltaire Foundation, 2013, pp. 97-117

‘Value Conflict and the Autonomy of Art’, in Aesthetic and Artistic Autonomy, ed. Owen Hulatt, Bloomsbury, 2013, pp. 65-88

‘Meaning and Interpretation: Dutch Painting of the Golden Age’, in Art and Visual Culture 1600–1850: Academy to Avant-Garde, ed. Emma Barker, Tate Publishing, 2012, pp. 60-99

‘Participatory Imagining and the Explanation of Living-Presence Response’, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 51, No. 4, October, 2011, pp. 363-381

‘Hegel’s Contested Legacy: Rethinking the Relation Between Art History and Philosophy’, The Art Bulletin, Vol. XCIII, No. 2, June 2011, pp. 178-194

‘On Bildwissenschaft: Can there be a Universal “Science of Images”?’, in The Aesthetic Dimension of Visual Culture, ed. Ondřej Dadejík and Jakub Stejskal, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010, pp. 33-49

‘Heritage Values’, co-authored with Jorge Otero-Pailos and Susie West, in Understanding Heritage in Practice, ed. Susie West, Manchester University Press, 2010, pp. 47-87

‘Dismantling the Frame: Site-Specific Art and Aesthetic Autonomy’, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 49, No. 1, January, 2009, pp. 43-58

‘Incidental and Integral Beauty: Danto, Duchamp and the Avant-Garde’ in Beauty, ed. Dave Beech, MIT Press, 2009, pp. 119-125

‘Catching up with History: Hegel and Abstract Painting’ in Hegel: New Directions, Katerina Deligiorgi, ed., McGill-Queens University Press/Acumen, 2006, pp. 159-176

‘Post-Conceptual Painting: Gerhard Richter’s Extended Leave-Taking’, in Themes in Contemporary Art, Gill Perry and Paul Wood, eds, Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 89-135

‘Expressionism and the Crisis of Subjectivity’ and ‘Approaches to Cubism’, in Art of the Avant-Gardes, Steve Edwards and Paul Wood, eds, Yale University Press, 2004, pp.13-61 and pp. 135-55.

‘Interpreting the Readymade: Marcel Duchamp’s Bottlerack’, in Frameworks for Modern Art, Jason Gaiger, ed., Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 57-103.

‘The Analysis of Pictorial Style’, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 42, No. 1, January 2002, pp. 20-36

‘The Aesthetics of Kant and Hegel’, A Companion to Art Theory, Paul Smith and Carolyn Wilde, eds., Blackwell, 2002, pp. 127-138

‘Art as Made and Sensuous: Hegel, Danto and the End of Art’, in Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain, Nos. 41/42, 2000, pp. 104-119

‘The True Judge of Beauty and the Paradox of Taste’, European Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 8. No. 1, April 2000, pp. 1-19

‘Schiller’s Theory of Landscape Depiction’, Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 61, No. 3, January 2000, pp. 115-132

‘Constraints and Conventions: Kant and Greenberg on Aesthetic Judgment’, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 39, No. 4, October 1999, pp. 376-391

‘Modernity in Germany: the Many Sides of Adolph Menzel, in The Challenge of the Avant-Garde, ed. Paul Wood, Yale University Press, 1999, pp. 91-111

‘Lebensphilosophie’, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, general editor, Edward Craig, Routledge, 1998

Where next?

Fine Art

Undergraduate course page

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Hall Alumni Lead Conversation about Dyslexia at Oxford

20 Apr 2021

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Ursus: Interim art exhibition by second-year undergraduates

26 Feb 2019

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