"Art always has been and always will be important to humans", says Cynthia Freeland, professor of philosophy at the Houston University. This sentence, announced as a universal truth, shows that art remains strongly essential for human beings. It is also assured that everybody knows the importance of art for mankind. For ages, it has been developed, even before written languages. Ancient cave-wall paintings illustrate the importance of creativity or simply of art for human beings. These primitive creations evolved through times, and nowadays, art takes so many forms giving rise to a countless number of questions about art. In considering its evolution and the diversity of ways in which art appears today, the value of art is at the heart of many current debates.
All know that art is vital for mankind, but conceptions, theories, considerations, appreciations, valuations, or simply, the definition alighted on art are strongly different from one person to another. Thus, according to the diversity of artworks existing today and in the face of Progress, we can try to answer the following question : What is art today? Past theories of art are nowadays revisited in the context of Contemporary Art, which has radically transformed art codes. According to William Rubin, director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, "there is no single definition of art" and the historian, Thomas McEvilley argues that today, "more or less anything can be designated as art. In this way, can anybody today be an artist? Does each work presented as art can be really considered as such? What is an artwork? It seems that focusing on past theories is currently impossible because of the radical evolution of art through times.
Finding a definition for art has always been a crucial problem, as Paul Gauguin tried with his very last essay, "What is Art?". In this book, the artist explains that art refers to something skilfully created by artists. However, artists also require to be defined to understand the value dedicated to art. Nevertheless, these attempts of definitions are limited to a plurality of conceptions, challenging the general public perceptions and philosophers, psychologists and critics' theories.
[...] Indeed, for him, a real artwork has to unify people in embracing crucial values of the society in order to preserve its tradition of art. Theorization of art evolved a lot through times and new ideas about what is art emerged in the XVIIIth century. Many philosophers and artists proposed a new conception: art represents without using imitation. For these philosophers, the role of art is to express the superiority of mind and nature. Art can have a short link with reality without copy or imitate it. [...]
[...] Leiden: E.J. Brill Alain Renaut. Introduction à la Critique de la faculté de juger, Aubier Baudelaire. Exposition universelle de 1855. Ed. La Pleiade, tome Luc Decaunes. Entretiens sur les lettres et les arts, numéro spécial "Hommage à Pierre Reverdy”, Ed. Rodez Wassily Kandinsky. Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Ed. Kessinger Publishing Yvon Le Scanff. Le paysage romantique et l'expérience du sublime. [...]
[...] »(Ibid. p90)33 and even if « people in the field of aesthetics do more than try to define what art is, also want to explain why it is valued [ . ] how much people pay for it »(Ibid. p6)34. Globalization seems to affect positively the art world by enhancing cultures sharing, artistic creations, and art forms diversity. This phenomenon makes art accessible to many people, and permits to each one to discover different arts. This is possible thanks to the new technologies enhancing communication and sharing. [...]
[...] What is an artist? Retrieved from http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/artartists/artartiststoday.html 3 Ibid definitely difficult in the sense that each work is peculiar, coming from very different kinds of arts (music or painting for examples). In this way, it seems so hard to give a material characterization or a physical description (based upon several criteria) of a real work of art. Thus, is it possible to explain today the difference between a child doodle and a famous French impressionist painting? Equally, can we say what makes an Art Brut “doodle” or the Yves Klein Blue Monochrome or again a Johannes Vermeer painting, as a work of art? [...]
[...] Nietzche and Klee explained that art makes things visible, and that art must embellish life by concealing or re-interpreting ugly and painful things of life. At the beginning of the XIXth century theories showed that nature is not the referent of art anymore, and that the function of art is to put ideas into sensitivity. For instance, Reverdy explained that poetry is a “magical act of transmutation of reality”16, that Kandinsky defined as an internal and spiritual beauty constituting the 15 Baudelaire. Exposition universelle de 1855. Ed. [...]
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