Types of Art.docx - Art as Expression The definition comes...

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Art as Expression The definition comes from Collingwood’s Principles of Art (1938). Collingwood defines art primarily as an activity: that of clarifying an emotion, by which he means identifying the emotion one is feeling not merely as a general type, such as anger or remorse, but with as much particularity as possible. Collingwood does not deny that one can rephrase this definition in terms of a work of art rather than an activity, but he believes the work exists primarily in the minds of artist and audience, rather than in one of the more usual artistic media. He seems to think that the job of the medium it to enable the communication of emotion to the audience who share the same emotions. The definition assumes that the emotion expressed in a work is always the artist’s emotion, but it is not at all clear why a work cannot express, or be expressive of, an emotion not felt by the artist when creating the work. Formalism The best known and most explicit formalist definition of art belongs to Clive Bell. According to Bell, art is what has significant form. Significant form is form that imbues what possesses it with a special sort of value that consists in the affect produced in those who perceive it. Bell calls the affect “the aesthetic emotion” though, as Carol Gould (1994) has pointed out, this is probably a misnomer since what he has in mind is more likely a positive, pleasurable reaction to a perceptual experience. Thus, Bell claims that what is special about form in art is that it is valuable in a special way. Formalism describes the critical position that the most important aspect of a work of art is its form – the way it is made and its purely visual aspects – rather than its narrative content or its relationship to the visible world. ... All this led quickly to abstract art, an art of pure form. Formalism Theory The formalistic approach directs that art be analyzed by reviewing form and style. Elements like color, shapes, textures, and line are emphasized, while the context of the work is de-emphasized, and made a secondary characteristic—at times taken completely out of consequence.

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