The Search for Aesthetic Meaning in the Visual Arts: The Need for the Aesthetic Tradition in Contemporary Art Theory and Education

Overview

Many contemporary artists produce work that reflects nothing more than a perceived social reality. It is the author's belief that Postmodern art theory and education have trivialized the place of aesthetics in the visual arts, despite the fact that humans search for meaning in life and experiencing the visual arts is one of the ways they seek such meaning. Humans, according to the author's position, understand the world about them in ways that do not easily conform to logical cognition alone. They may also use ...

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Overview

Many contemporary artists produce work that reflects nothing more than a perceived social reality. It is the author's belief that Postmodern art theory and education have trivialized the place of aesthetics in the visual arts, despite the fact that humans search for meaning in life and experiencing the visual arts is one of the ways they seek such meaning. Humans, according to the author's position, understand the world about them in ways that do not easily conform to logical cognition alone. They may also use intuition or pre-thought in developing their understanding of the world and themselves.

Intuitive thought in particular is inseparable to both artistic creation and appreciation, as well as the concept of aesthetic experience. It is a willingness to allow for the complexity of cognition that has been lost in Postmodern theory and education. One must re-examine how humans have characteristically thought of art—that is the aesthetic tradition—and use that understanding not only to broaden contemporary art theory and education but most importantly to aid individuals who seek aesthetic meaning in the visual arts.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Surveying art criticism from Alberti and Vasari to post-modernism and feminism, Holt (holding a degree in education, he's a writer and artist) tells us that critics of art, concerned mainly with intellectual analysis, have overlooked art's emotional appeal. The text is divided into a series of short (some are only two pages) chapters, some thin on content, others more detailed, all of them impassioned, in which the author critiques each critic's awareness of transcendent aesthetic expression as a factor of art's impact. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897897730
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/30/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID KENNETH HOLT holds an Ed.D. from Northern Illinois University. He is currently a writer and printmaker living in New Paltz, NY.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Intuition in Aesthetic Appreciation 7
Chapter 2 Aesthetics 13
Chapter 3 Leon Battista Alberti 17
Chapter 4 Giorgio Vasari and the Origin of the Image of the Artist 25
Chapter 5 The Image of the Artist as Rebel and Social Critic 33
Chapter 6 Lomazzo and Bellori and the Hardening of the Term of Imitation 35
Chapter 7 The French Academy 43
Chapter 8 Roger De Piles 47
Chapter 9 The Evolution to Romanticism 51
Chapter 10 Johann J. Winckelmann 55
Chapter 11 Sir Joshua Reynolds 59
Chapter 12 The Salon Shows 61
Chapter 13 Denis Diderot 63
Chapter 14 The Romantic Critics 73
Chapter 15 Charles Baudelaire 75
Chapter 16 "Art for Art's Sake" 81
Chapter 17 John Ruskin 83
Chapter 18 Walter Pater 87
Chapter 19 Modernist Art Criticism 89
Chapter 20 Roger Fry 91
Chapter 21 Clement Greenberg 99
Chapter 22 Art as Political Rhetoric 105
Chapter 23 Harold Rosenberg 107
Chapter 24 Post-Modernism: Anomaly in Art Critical Theory 113
Chapter 25 Feminist Art Criticism 117
Chapter 26 The Search for Aesthetic Meaning in Art Education: Summary and Conclusions 123
Notes 129
Bibliography 139
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