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A Lesson in Aesthetics

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Hillary Ellis

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of A Lesson in Aesthetics

asks and tries to answer the “Big” Questions: Aesthetic Theories 1. Representation (imitation, realism, mimesis)

2. Expressionism (emotionalism)

3. Formalism

4. Communication of moral and religious ideas

5. Symbolic (non-verbal) communication

6. Instrumentalism

7. Institutionalism Material adapted from Julie Van Camp, Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Long Beach, presentation Teaching Aesthetics. http://www.csulb.edu/~jvancamp/multi/index.html Representation (Realism) Expressionism Formalism Moralism Symbolic
Communication Instrumentalism Institutionalism (pragmatism, experience): The essence
of art is its usefulness in helping us to
comprehend and improve our overall life
experiences. Good art is always a means
to some important end. "Malcolm X" - Glenn Ligon "The Race"
- Hans Georg Rauch “Around the Fish” – Paul Klee “Arnolfini Portrait” – Jan Van Eyck The essence of art is the communication of important ideas and other knowledge through symbolic (nonverbal) languages. Good art communicates its meaning effectively in this nonverbal language. "Abendstimmung in der Campagna"
- Oswald Achenbach "Water"
- John Stuart Ingle The essence of art is to picture or portray reality. Good art is an accurate mirror on the world, imitating nature or some ideal form. "Lynch Family"
- Joseph Hirsch "Untitled"
- Jean-Michel Basquiat (emotionalism): The essence of art is expression of the inner emotions, feelings, moods, and mental states of the artist. Good art effectively and sincerely brings these inner states to an external objectification.
The essence of art is “significant form”— lines, shapes, colors, and other formal properties of the work; representation, expression, and other subject matter are irrelevant. Good art uses formal elements to trigger an “aesthetic emotion” in sensitive observers. "Composition No. 10"
- Piet Mondrian "Homage to the Square: Soft Spoken"
- Josef Albers "Christ as the Man of Sorrows"
- Jan Mostaert The essence of art is the communication of important moral and religious values from the artist to the observer. Good art is sincere communication by the artist, which “infects” the observers with those important moral ideas. "The Mérode Altarpiece"
- Robert Campin “Brillo Boxes”
– Andy Warhol "Fountain" - Marcel Duchamp Art is determined by status conferred
upon it by the institutions of the art
world not by an observable property in
the artwork itself. Art has no concrete definition.
Every person has their own definition of what art is to them; shaped by their views, personal experiences, etc. "I believe that art..." should show ordinary things in new ways
should have a message or a story about how to be a better person or make the world a better place
should always show some sort of feeling or emotion
should mimic the real world
is anything I like
should take a long time to make and be made well
should be unique, original, and new
should be beautiful and pleasing to the viewer
should make people think A branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art and beauty.
What is art?
What makes a piece of art beautiful?

What are the standards for judging art?
Full transcript