Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On the Concept of Beautiful

Henri Matisse, The Dessert Harmony in Red, 1908

Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry (south wall), 1932-33

Barnett Newman, Onement VI, 1953

Aesthetics without content is mushy.
Art is formal, but to reduce it to formal beauty is denying beauty it's purpose.
Art requires tension, between whole and parts. This tension cannot be used as a means to create, because it will expose itself as being formulaic.
Beauty cannot go back to what it was, but it should not be discarded.

Adorno: "For the sake of the sake of the beautiful, ther cannot be a beautiful any more: because it has stopped being beautiful."
Adorno is calling for a new kind of beauty, because beauty had been contaminated by political agendas. Recalling Scarry's arguments for beauty:
- the beholder will, in response to seeing beauty, try to bring beauty into the world
- the beholders themselves become beautiful in their interior lives.
- the beautiful object animates the viewer- or raises the awareness and aliveness.
Given Adorno's argument, is it irresponsible to create beauty like Matisse did?

1 comment:

  1. Wednesday, April 21, 2010
    What does Contemporary Jewelry Mean? by Benjamin Lignel