The Transhistorical Image: Philosophizing Art and its History

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Overview

Why are visual artworks experienced as having intrinsic significance or normative depth? Why are some works of art better able to manifest this significance than others? In his latest book Paul Crowther argues that we can answer these questions only if we have a fully analytic definition of visual art. Crowther's approach focuses on the pictorial image, broadly construed to include abstract work and recent conceptually based idioms. The significance of art depends, however, essentially on the transhistorical nature of the pictorial image, the way in which its illuminative power is extended through historical transformation of the relevant artistic medium. Crowther argues against fashionable forms of cultural relativism, while at the same time showing why it is important that an appreciation of the history of art is integral to aesthetic judgement.
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Editorial Reviews

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"[A]n impressive case." Philosophy in Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521811149
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Crowther is Professor for Art and Philosophy at the International University Bremen. His books include The Language of Twentieth-Century Art: A Conceptual History (1997) and Art and Embodiment: From Aesthetics to Self-Consciousness (1993).
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Formalism, art history and effective historical difference 7
2 More than ornament: Riegl and the problem of style 22
3 The objective significance of perspective: Panofsky with Cassirer 36
4 The fundamental categories of art history 69
5 The abstract image: a theory of non-figurative art 143
6 The containment of memory: Duchamp, Fahrenholz and the box 166
Conclusion: Conceptual Art, even...(fundamental categories thereof) 180
App The logical basis of pictorial representation 189
Bibliography 201
Index 204
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