Author: Courtney Hall
Arthur Danto (American art critic and philosopher) announced that the “end of art” was in 1984. By making this statement, he didn’t mean that artists were no longer making art, but that it was the end of art history. Throughout much of history, art began as Hellenistic sculptors to realist painters of nineteenth-century France, and they all sought to realistically depict the natural world. Then, realism developed into abstraction, color became expressive rather than authentic, and figures became sketchy and crude. Does this type of change in art mean that art history has come to an end? Is realism the only true type of art?
A specific feature of art that I admire is that the artist expresses his/her own intellectual world, his/her own intrinsic individuality. Is art individualistic, or can it be universal? Is art relative? Does everyone have to collectively agree upon a piece of artwork in order for it to be classified as art? Does art have to follow/fit into specific parameters?
In this article, the author claims that what exactly is deemed ugly remains in the eye of the beholder. But, they say that what unifies ugly paintings is its defiance of the obviously attractive or lifelike. It serves as a reminder that art isn’t a branch of mortuary science, and it has the potential to be mind-altering, it exists to cause trouble and show that there are other ways to see.
I think it is important to ask these questions because, in the past few decades, art has taken new forms, whether that be abstract, conceptual, or graphic design. Museums display different types of art and the eras they were most prominent in, but is there a point in which a piece of art is “less or worse” than another piece? Does art have a determined definition, and does it have to? What do you think art is?