__-history, __-theory, __-world
(Accounting for modern art with Dickie, Danto, and Weitz)
Up until the twentieth century art theorists had consistently sought for a definition of art—a definition that would determine a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for something to be called art. But artists in the 20th century did not want to be defined, and they deliberately tried to create artworks that would not fit under some theorist’s umbrella. We saw the Beatniks with their free verse; we saw the pop art of Andy Warhol; we saw the rise of abstractionist and surrealist painters; we saw “happenings”, and we saw “ready-made” art, all of which combined to make the finding of a definition of art almost impossible. It’s not a surprise that some theorists just gave up and argued that a definition of art, or an umbrella theory, was non-essential at least, and at most not possible. The artworks in themselves in the 20th century were too radical to fit a definition, so an attempt was made to turn the focus away from the artwork itself and instead focus on the “artworld”—the institutional/historical world that was the practical force for deciding where the line between art and non-art was and how it moved. This essay seeks to explain the theories of Weitz, Danto and Dickie, how they relate to one another, how they changed the focus of art theory from the artwork itself to the “artworld”, and the problems that an institutional/historical theory of art runs into.
Both the theories of Arthur Danto and George Dickie are influenced by Morris Weitz’s theory, so it is fitting to begin with Weitz. Weitz espoused a kind of anti-theory. He got fed up with all the aesthetic theorists that kept on arguing that previous theorists had it all wrong and that they had it right. Weitz believed that aesthetic theories throughout history tried in vain to come up with the “correct” necessary and sufficient set of conditions that would be able to fully answer the question: “What is the nature of art?” Thus, Weitz steps up to the plate and says, “Aesthetic theory—all of it—is wrong in principle in thinking that a correct theory is possible because it radically misconstrues the logic of the concept of art (184).” Weitz believes that the concept of art is an “open” one, in which case the “logic” of this concept is precisely one which requires that it rema...
... middle of paper ...
...ain, it seems quite possible that anyone who educates themselves enough about the conventional framework of the artworld necessarily becomes part of that public in which case the standard of judgment becomes similar to that of Weitz’s and Danto’s theories, i.e. the standard of judgment can be obtained through the acquisition of an education of aesthetic theory, history, and criticism.
So, before taking this class I had virtually no art history or art theory, but now I have a nice overview of art theory through history, in which case my ability to make judgments about art has definitely been elevated. However, I don’t feel that just because I have the knowledge offered by this class that I am now magically part of the artworld public. In order to be able to claim that I am part of the artworld public, I must take up a specific role; I must acquire a genuine “eye” for art—a desire to experience it, take serious interest in it, critique it, and buy it. In other words, I can read all the books on art that I want and not be considered part of the artworld public until I make use of that knowledge through participation in one of the many roles in any of the individual artworld systems.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Imagine pondering into a reconstruction of reality through only the visual sense. Without tasting, smelling, touching, or hearing, it may be hard to find oneself in an alternate universe through a piece of art work, which was the artist’s intended purpose. The eyes serve a much higher purpose than to view an object, the absorptions of electromagnetic waves allows for one to endeavor on a journey and enter a world of no limitation. During the 15th century, specifically the Early Renaissance, Flemish altarpieces swept Europe with their strong attention to details.... [tags: Art History]
2690 words (7.7 pages)
- What does the term New Media mean and how has it affected the study of Art History during its growth in the last six years. New Media means many things to many people but simply put, it’s an open to semi-open community for interactive dialog and relationships. “[New] media […] is increasingly more a site of coordination, because groups that see or hear or watch or listen to something [that “something” in particular to this essay, is Art History] can now gather.” (Shirky) The New Media has become a type of social communications tool, used in the ever-evolving world of the Internet.... [tags: Art History]
1649 words (4.7 pages)
- In practice the “white cube” (the white-walled gallery display prevalent in galleries of modern art) renders viewer unaware of the influence that it inflicts upon his/hers perception of what consist a modern art. Under no circumstances one would look twice upon the same bed like My Bed by Emin, standing next to the garbage bin on one of the British streets or thought of Sherman’s work Untitled No.151 from Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibition as nothing more but an interesting photograph taken probably before the Halloween party.... [tags: modern art, hans belting, art history]
1601 words (4.6 pages)
- The Pompeii exhibition at LACMA was an astounding visualization of history. The exhibition provided all sorts of objects; from sculptures, glass figures, painted art, and more. These art pieces specify the kind of life that was taking place in the Bay of Naples during the second century. As we know the cities around the Bay of Naples, which include Pompeii and Herculaneum, became tourist attractions when the cities were excavated after they were buried from the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.... [tags: World History, Art]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- Throughout many centuries, art has portrayed an exceedingly dominant role in Japanese culture. These forms of artwork varied from everything from pottery to clay figurines. Overall, the majority of Japanese art was and still is considered to be of high importance in Japanese history. However, the most intriguing and unique form of art was the Isho-ningyo and Iki-ningyo dolls, otherwise known as the "fashion doll" and the “living doll”. Both the Isho-ningyo and the Iki-ningyo were merely two of the plentiful assortment of dolls created by the famous Japanese artisan, Goyo Hirata, as items of “luxurious indulgence.” The Kintaro doll of Isho-ningyo type or Iko-ningyo type illustrates t... [tags: Art History, Japan]
1026 words (2.9 pages)
- Characteristics of Romanticism in the History of Art. To characterise Romanticism within the fine arts one must consider the historical background from which this movement manifested, as it plays such an influential role in the Romantic artist's development of subject matter and style. The movement itself began around the beginning of the 19th century, and is often dated 1775 – 1830 it is important to note that this was a period of change and revolution in human rights, and the main countries this movement manifested in were Germany, Britain and in France during the French Revolution of 1789.... [tags: Arts Paintings Art History]
1403 words (4 pages)
- Changes in Art History with Emphasis on the Mid-Twentieth Century Art during the mid-twentieth century contained some of the most important changes art history. These explosive times were counter-balanced with explosive popular culture. More historical events, abrupt changes, and turbulence occurred from the end of World War II until the height of the Vietnam War than in any time period. Before this time, styles of art had lasted generations. In the 1960’s numerous important art movements were happening at the same time.... [tags: Art History Artists American History Essays]
3754 words (10.7 pages)
- The History of Korean Art The arts of Korea, while largely influenced by Chinese, are characterized by simplicity, spontaneity and naturalism. A work of Korean art is not very meticulous in tiny details. It rather tends to embrace wholeness. This seemingly indifference lies in the flexible state of mind of early Korean artists who love nature as it is. Ko Yu-sop, a Korean art scholar, defines the characteristic aspects of Korean art as "technique without technique," "planning without planning," "asymmetry" and "nonchalance." During the Three Kingdoms period (BC-AD 668), the first major period of Korean Art during recorded history, the local powers of Koguryo in the north, Paekche in... [tags: Korea Art History Artists Essays]
1504 words (4.3 pages)
- In the early 1700s, the monarchies failures at finance, national debt, involvement in multiple wars with little care given to veterans and rising unemployment inflamed the people. When coupled with the monarchies lifestyles of lavish spending on countless mistresses, flouting morals, excessive parties at court, and political favors, the popularity of royalty was quickly disintegrating. The irresponsibility of the aristocracy was no longer ignored, and a movement was beginning. This set the stage for political change.... [tags: Art ]
502 words (1.4 pages)
- Crooked Beak of Heaven Mask is a big bird-figure mask from late nineteenth century made by Kwakwaka’wakw tribe. Black is a broad color over the entire mask. Red and white are used partially around its eyes, mouth, nose, and beak. Its beak and mouth are made to be opened, and this leads us to the important fact in both formal analysis and historical or cultural understanding: Transformation theme. Keeping that in mind, I would like to state formal analysis that I concluded from the artwork itself without connecting to cultural background.... [tags: Culture, Society, Art]
1151 words (3.3 pages)