Field Theory by Hadyn Green

Read Post

Field Theory: A post about art (sort of)

503 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 15 16 17 18 19 21 Newer→ Last

  • recordari,

    Ok so I'm trying to read some Boardman, but don't have access to the full texts. This snippet from Exekias was interesting.

    Probably the most rewarding field for study now that the master of attribution has gone is the definition of the painters as artist in the fuller sense of the word etc...

    Perhaps you can explain what is meant be this in regards to Ancient Greek 'artefacts' like Exekias' vases. Of course you'll have to elaborate, as I don't have a grounding in this sort of thing.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It means that attribution is no longer the issue, and that now more interesting things than connoisseurship can be attempted.

    It doesn't have much to do with the question of the definition of art, beyond the obvious fact that Boardman is using `artist' to refer to Exekias.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1311 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Gio wrote; Artists throughout history have innovated, experimented, struggled to find the means to represent not only what was beautiful but also what was true of the world in which they lived.

    Resonates with me.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Paul wrote;

    I am concerned that you think I dismissed your artefacts. I did not wish to imply that they were of lesser status, just observing that hand-made objects of functional value are given the name crafts, while the word art has been given to non-functional objects of primarily aesthetic value, at least since the 18th Century. There is nothing lacking in an object because it fulfills a practical use.

    Keir wrote;

    It doesn't have much to do with the question of the definition of art, beyond the obvious fact that Boardman is using 'artist' to refer to Exekias.

    It seems that Boardman calls Exekias' vases art, and Exekias himself, an artist, unless I too am too thick to understand Boardman. Isn't this a slight contradiction to what was stated earlier?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    I don't think it is very productive to try to gain an understanding through snippets on Internet. John Boardman wrote an excellent book on Athenian Black Figure Vases (1974), in which he writes of Exekias "the hallmark of his style is a near statuesque dignity which brings vase painting for the first time close to claiming a place as a major art." It would be a good idea to read the book in its entirety to learn where vase-painters stood in Athenian society. Social standing is important, since it indicates the value given to the painter's livelyhood. Little is known of Exekias, but there is a legend that he was a slave.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Another is to claim that they didn't appreciate the beauty of their own works, or that they didn't know they were making objects of beauty.

    I have not made this claim.

    You have in fact made it several times. Which is why a dozen or so people have taken issue with you - if all you had said was that different cultures have different ideas about what constitutes art as opposed to craft, and that the modern global art world is heavily influenced by Western ideas of just what it is that constitues art (just as it is about what constitutes poetry or literature), I think nobody would have had much to object. Of course this largely uncontroversial observation says little about what art is, or about the very significant continuities that exist in the history of artistic practice. Etruscan art was almost entirely produced to be sealed inside tombs, it wasn't meant for human eyes to see; yet its technical and expressive evolution is not dissimilar from the evolution of fine art forms elsewhere, which suggests that the practice of artists, if not the perceived meaning and reception of their works, wasn't in fact radically different.

    A more obvious example: you keep banging on the fact that pure aesthetic expression divorced from practical purpose is a modern European invention, but what was the practical purpose of Phidias' statue of Athena in the Acropolis? And was it all that different from the purpose of the rugby statue proposed for the Wellington waterfront?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Any published academic discourse about sports statues?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rob, thanks for the the Novitz quote and Stanford link. A couple of points illuminated our impasse quite well, for me.

    ...an influential study by the historian of philosophy Paul Kristeller, in which he argued that the modern system of the five major arts [painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, and music] which underlies all modern aesthetics … is of comparatively recent origin and did not assume definite shape before the eighteenth century, although it had many ingredients which go back to classical, mediaeval, and Renaissance thought.

    Since that list of five arts is somewhat arbitrary, and since even those five do not share a single common nature, but rather are united, at best, only by several overlapping features, and since the number of art forms has increased since the eighteenth century, Kristeller's work may be taken to suggest that our concept of art differs from that of the eighteenth century. As a matter of historical fact, there simply is no stable definiendum for a definition of art to capture.

    ...

    Theorists who regard art as an invention of eighteenth-century Europe will, of course, regard this way of putting the matter as tendentious, on the grounds that entities produced outside that culturally distinctive institution do not fall under the extension of “art” and hence are irrelevant to the art-defining project. (Shiner 2001)

    The discussion of Dickie's circularity also seemed apt.

    I take a broader view where art is a subset of cultural functions, which is why I value what Giovanni has to say about it.

    In general, I favour positions which provide a well thought-out place for everyone's perspectives - including Paul's which I regard as in some parts obviously well-informed and in others dangerously defective, notably when it comes to respecting the distinctive worldviews and practices of this place's cultures.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Social standing is important, since it indicates the value given to the painter's livelyhood. Little is known of Exekias, but there is a legend that he was a slave.

    Transactional value and social standing as aesthetic constructs? Sorry, I may be misinterpreting.

    Having read one page, and a few other summaries of Broadman, his pompousness would probably become somewhat tiresome throughout an entire book. Strikes me as intellectual self-gratification at first glance, but then someone has to do it, I suppose.

    There was a nice exhibition of prints at Lopdall House recently where Marian Maguire had used Exekias style imagery with colonial motif's. The Labour of Herakles. Quite liked it really. Is that Ok? Oh, and presumably it is art?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Love Marian Maguire's work. Herakles was the subject of an excellent review by Adam Gifford on the Herald.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Love Marian Maguire's work. Herakles was the subject of an excellent review by Adam Gifford on the Herald.

    Thanks Gio. Remember reading that around the time. Quite tempted, but in the end got a Liam Barr print instead. Another artist playing with our cultural heritage and modern symbolism. Amazing richness of colour and detail in the actual prints, which the photos don't do justice.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Strikes me as intellectual self-gratification at first glance, but then someone has to do it, I suppose.

    Really? I mean, come on. This is just mindlessly stupid, up there with telling someone who studied at the Courtauld that they don't know art history.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1311 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Which is why a dozen or so people have taken issue with you - if all you had said was that different cultures have different ideas about what constitutes art as opposed to craft, and that the modern global art world is heavily influenced by Western ideas of just what it is that constitues art (just as it is about what constitutes poetry or literature), I think nobody would have had much to object.

    I am sure you would have found a way. The point is not about different ideas of art, but the very existence of it. I realise my opinions have scandalised readers, such that you accuse me of cultural insensitivity and Sacha goes as far as to imply that I am a racist. But all the people who study non-Western material culture - anthropologists and the like - are united in saying that the traditional cultural practices of non-Western peoples cannot be described as art. In that respect, they share much with the people who study historic Western cultural practices. Further, many of the traditions which we might think as grounded in history are invented - this is the theme of the papers I recommended, which unfortunately are not available on Internet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Really? I mean, come on. This is just mindlessly stupid, up there with telling someone who studied at the Courtauld that they don't know art history.

    Well, if you say so. My point is if I have to read Boredman in order to participate in discussions here that start with a rugby statue then, well, I mustn't have read the manual properly.

    But all the people who study non-Western material culture - anthropologists and the like - are united in saying that the traditional cultural practices of non-Western peoples cannot be described as art.

    All of them? 100 percent? Totally united in their opinions on this? Well, you're the expert.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I am sure you would have found a way.

    Hardly, for the simple fact that I agree with it.

    But all the people who study non-Western material culture - anthropologists and the like - are united in saying that the traditional cultural practices of non-Western peoples cannot be described as art.

    According to a definition of art that pre-empts the inclusion of the traditional cultural practices of non-Western peoples, I'm sure some of them probably can. The problem with that definition of art of course is that it doesn't apply to the contemporary Western art world, let alone anybody else. Art for art's sake, as an object of aesthetic appreciation without practical, social or political purposes, never actually applied to a time in history - certainly not to the Rinascimento for which it was supposedly coined - and is a notion utterly shattered by twentieth-century artists. It still enjoys some institutional currency, and does a lot to help grease the wheels of the global art market, but it obscures more than it reveals. We ought to feel free to reject it, and not just because it demeans the indigenous culture of our nation - although that's not a bad reason.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'd add that it is of course political advanteguos, from a colonial perspective, to hold philosophical positions that subsume the experience of a culture within another. So to suggest that Maori didn't do art is far from innocent. It allows amongst other things to claim that colonisation broadened the options available to the colonised, without extinguishing those that they already possessed. We gave them a better world. Their humble craftsmen can now be fully-fledged artists.

    The reality is that those new options came at the expense of others, and that there is a world lost in the transition. To retain a lived memory of what art meant for Maori requires first of all to acknowledge that toi had a complex meaning that is worth preserving. It wasn't just craft in the almost pejorative sense that the word has for Europeans, or a set of ornamental motifs. It was integral to the Maori worldview, and performed meaningful functions in the society that produced it. Just like Western art, or any other art.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thank you, Giovanni

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Love Marian Maguire's work. Herakles was the subject of an excellent review by Adam Gifford on the Herald.

    Thanks Gio.

    Yeah, thanks again.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3352 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    When I quote John Boardman, top Greek art history man, saying the Greeks had no concept of art as we understand it, Giovanni says I have misinterpreted Boardman. When I ask Giovanni to show where Boardman supports his argument, he falls silent.

    I dispute that the quotes you offered mean anything more than what they say - namely that the Greeks had a different concept of art from ours. I think you take this notion, which, again, is hardly new or controversial, much further than he does. I asked you to specify with a couple of examples, one in particular regarding the fame of Phidias and his works, and you replied that if I had read the book I'd know the answer to my query. So I'm going to go with "bollocks yourself". Perhaps your idea is so powerful that it doesn't need talking about.

    The Greek ideal of beauty was mimesis, the imitation of nature. Creativity as we understand it was unknown to them. Greek sculptors did invent, did not make sympbols, did not allegorise. The made marble look like flesh.

    Unlike Leonardo and Michelangelo, you mean, who dissected cadavers (at considerable personal risk, it must be noted) in order to make their sculpted bodies look more exact?

    Besides, you're limiting yourself to classical sculptures. How about all their satirical or comical statuary. Are you telling me that the Greek depictions of Pan or of Priapos are mimetic? Boy I bet a lot of people would like to be introduced to the model for this work (which is Roman, but just impossibile not to link to. Here's a Greek one). And what about black figure pottery, which is after all Boardman's main area of study. Isn't it highly stylized, and densely symbolic? The figure that enters a picture from the left is the winner in battle. Are you telling me this used to happen in real life?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Perhaps your idea is so powerful that it doesn't need talking about.

    Roflnui

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    So I'm going to go with "bollocks yourself". Perhaps your idea is so powerful that it doesn't need talking about.

    Act party policy? See the difference is, we cretins read Gio and feel like he is willing to accept our perspective, in spite of our failings, whereas with Paul, not so much.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Recordari, remind me yr new twitter handle again?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    According to a definition of art that pre-empts the inclusion of the traditional cultural practices of non-Western peoples, I'm sure some of them probably can.

    You, being cynical and having your own agenda, choose to see it that way. As I have been arguing for weeks now, the evidence is available; you have produced no evidence. So why should I give a toss about your baseless opinions?

    Art for art's sake, as an object of aesthetic appreciation without practical, social or political purposes, never actually applied to a time in history - certainly not to the Rinascimento for which it was supposedly coined .. .

    I said it didn't apply in the Rinascimento; that was my point. If you are going to talk about art, you need to read a little further than the first chapter of Gombrich;

    ...and is a notion utterly shattered by twentieth-century artists

    Did you find the time to visit any exhibitions during the Twentieth Century? It is virtually all for its own sake.

    We ought to feel free to reject it, and not just because it demeans the indigenous culture of our nation - although that's not a bad reason.

    Oh, rubbish it does nothing of the kind; that is nothing more than White Liberal Guilt mixed with an unhealthy dose of philistinism, which can only see value in art when it serves your political purpose..

    I'd add that it is of course political advanteguos, from a colonial perspective, to hold philosophical positions that subsume the experience of a culture within another. So to suggest that Maori didn't do art is far from innocent.

    Giovanni, there is a nasty, bitter streak to you, that makes the winning of an argument more important than decency and integrity. You have to suggest that I have darker purposes, to put it about that I must be some sort of racist. You don't have the honesty or the integrity to take on an argument squarely. Of course, you would not refer to any of the academic literature on the subject because it probably would not support your view, so instead you insinuate evil intent on my part.

    I dispute that the quotes you offered mean anything more than what they say - namely that the Greeks had a different concept of art from ours

    You have not read Boardman; you attempted to deceive me and the readers of this thread. I called you on that. You are a fraud.

    I am done with you now. I will leave the final word to Ringo:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    You have not read Boardman; you attempted to deceive me and the readers of this thread. I called you on that. You are a fraud.

    Jesus Christ.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    No one seems to have asked the most important question: does Art History Man have a cool costume?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3624 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 15 16 17 18 19 21 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.