By Peter de Bolla
Within the face of a very good murals, we so usually stand mute, struck dumb. is that this a function—perhaps the 1st and foremost—of aesthetic adventure? Or can we lack the phrases to assert what we suppose? Countering present assumptions that paintings is valued in basic terms based on flavor or ideology, Peter de Bolla provides a voice—and vocabulary—to the beauty artwork can motivate. operating towards a greater figuring out of what it really is to be profoundly moved via a piece of paintings, he forces us to think again the significance of paintings works and the singular nature and price of our event of them. in lots of methods a "practical aesthetics," artwork concerns proceeds in terms of instance. via chapters getting to 3 works of art—Barnett Newman's portray Vir Heroicus Sublimis, pianist Glenn Gould's moment recording of Bach's Goldberg diversifications, and William Wordsworth's poem "We Are Seven"—de Bolla plots a private heritage of aesthetic adventure that opens up the final types of paintings appreciation. His booklet invitations us to a better come upon with artwork, and to a deeper appreciation and clearer expression of what such an come across may carry. (20011101)
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Extra resources for Art Matters
Part of my argument about the value of artworks, of how we come to value some more than others, is based on the observation that the artwork itself guides us in how to approach it: the image, to some extent, teaches us how to look, the music how to listen, the poem how to read. It is this notion of the artwork itself intending its modes and modalities of reception and understanding that is bound up in what I wish to call the virtual effect of art, the sense we have that what is internal to our affective experience is a reﬂection of or response to what is “inside” the work.
I have tried to do this in my concluding remarks. One question remains concerning the competency of those experiencing an artwork: Can one person be equally at home with romantic poetry, baroque keyboard music, and abstract painting? Without wishing to be in the least hubristic, I think it is important to note that the perception of artworks does not necessarily come easy, [ 21 ] Copyright © 2001 The President and Fellows of Harvard College Introduction as if all one has to do is open one’s eyes in order to see.
Perhaps this is why many ﬁrst reactions to the painting ﬁnd it cold, almost inhuman, perhaps inhumane. By the time Newman painted the canvas in 1950, such abstraction or turning away from the ﬁgurative was hardly a novelty: in the wake of cubism’s experiments of crazy-paving Western representational pictorial conventions, artists such as Delaunay, Leger, and perhaps [ 32 ] Copyright © 2001 The President and Fellows of Harvard College Barnett Newman’s Vir Heroicus Sublimis above all Mondrian had begun, in the second decade of the twentieth century, to create canvases that contained no more than design and color.
Art Matters by Peter de Bolla