Philosophers on Art from Kant to the Postmodernists: A Critical Reader
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Here, for the first time, Christopher Kul-Want brings together twenty-five texts on art written by twenty philosophers. Covering the Enlightenment to postmodernism, these essays draw on Continental philosophy and aesthetics, the Marxist intellectual tradition, and psychoanalytic theory, and each is accompanied by an overview and interpretation.
The volume features Martin Heidegger on Van Gogh's shoes and the meaning of the Greek temple; Georges Bataille on Salvador Dalí's The Lugubrious Game; Theodor W. Adorno on capitalism and collage; Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes on the uncanny nature of photography; Sigmund Freud on Leonardo Da Vinci and his interpreters; Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva on the paintings of Holbein; Freud's postmodern critic, Gilles Deleuze on the visceral paintings of Francis Bacon; and Giorgio Agamben on the twin traditions of the Duchampian ready-made and Pop Art. Kul-Want elucidates these texts with essays on aesthetics, from Hegel and Nietzsche to Badiou and Rancière, demonstrating how philosophy adopted a new orientation toward aesthetic experience and subjectivity in the wake of Kant's powerful legacy.
instinctual drives into colored surface) as much as to his place within the history of Western painting. (He lived at a time when the die had not yet been cast, when it was far from sure that all lines would lead toward the unifying, fixed center of perspective.) Padua’s Blue Blue is the first color to strike the visitor as he enters into the semidarkness of the Arena Chapel. Unusual in Giotto’s time because of its brilliance, it contrasts strongly with the somber coloring of Byzantine mosaics
above) in relation to the sign. —Translated by Thomas Gora, Alice Jardine, and Leon S. Roudiez HOLBEIN’S DEAD CHRIST A Composition in Loneliness Italian iconography embellishes, or at least ennobles, Christ’s face during the Passion but especially surrounds it with figures that are immersed in grief as well as in the certainty of the Resurrection, as if to suggest the attitude we should ourselves adopt facing the Passion. Holbein, on the contrary, leaves the corpse strangely alone. It is
operations of this art. The role of the avantgardes was to represent, rather than to link. This is because they were nothing but the desperate and unstable search for a mediating schema, for a didactico-romantic schema. The avant-gardes were didactic in their desire to put an end to art, in their condemnation of its alienated and inauthentic character. But they were also romantic in their conviction that art must be reborn immediately as absolute—as the undivided awareness of its operations or as
unable to attain genuine beauty; because their mythological ideas, the content and thought of their works of art, were as yet indeterminate in themselves, or of a vicious determinateness, and did not consist in the content that is absolute in itself. The more that works of art excel in true beauty of presentation, the more profound is the inner truth of their content and thought. And in dealing with this point, we have not to think merely perhaps of the greater or lesser skill with which the
out at a scene for which it is itself a scene. A condition of pure reciprocity manifested by the observing and observed mirror, the two stages of which are uncoupled at the two lower corners of the picture: on the left the canvas with its back to us, by means of which the exterior point is made into pure spectacle; to the right the dog lying on the floor, the only element in the picture that is neither looking at anything nor moving, because it is not intended, with its deep reliefs and the light