Archive for the ‘ C ’ Category

NOËL CARROLL

Dates: 1947-

Nationality: American

Noël Carroll is an American philosopher considered an authority for his aesthetic analysis of films. He works in general on philosophy of art, theory of media and also philosophy of history. He is at present a distinguished professor of philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center. As a journalist, he has also published a number of articles in the Chicago Reader, ARTforum, In These Times, Dance Magazine, Soho Weekly News and The Village Voice.

Wikipedia contributors, ‘Noël Carroll’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 October 2010, 18:42 UTC, <en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=No%C3%ABl_Carroll&oldid=388734489>

Philosophical aesthetics in the twentieth century has shown a striking inability to come to terms with mass art. In the main, the phenomenon is generally ignored in philosophical treatises on art. Instead the examples upon which twentieth century philosophers of art construct their theories are primarily drawn from the realm of what is often called high art. Moreover, when philosophers or philosophically minded art theorists have focused on the topic of mass art, their finding are frequently dismissive and openly hostile. Often their energies are spent in the attempt to show that mass art is not genuine art, but something else, something called kitsch or pseudo-art. (Carroll 15)

Carroll, Noël. The Philosophy of Mass Art. Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, 1998.


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T.J. CLARK

Dates: 1943-

Nationality: British

Timothy James Clark (often “T.J. Clark”) was born in 1943 in Bristol, England. He first acquired fame as a Marxist art historian. He holds the George C. and Helen N. Pardee Chair as Professor of Modern Art at the University of California, Berkeley. Clark is currently concerned with examining a particular type of pictorial thought, involving notions of human uprightness and the ground plane, which runs throughout the history of painting and which he has termed “ground level painting.” The artists Nicolas Poussin, Pieter Bruegel, and Paolo Veronese figure prominently in his work on the subject.

Clark was educated at Bristol Grammar School, before entering St. John’s College, Cambridge University, where he graduated with first class distinction in 1964. He received his Ph.D. in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London in 1973. He lectured at the University of Essex 1967-1969 and then at Camberwell College of Arts as a senior lecturer, 1970-1974. During this time he was also a member of the British Section of the Situationist International, from which he was expelled along with the other members of the English section. He was also involved in the group King Mob.

In 1973 he published two books based on his Ph.D. dissertation which launched his international career as an art historian. The Absolute Bourgeois: Artists and Politics in France, 1848-1851 and Image of the People: Gustave Courbet and the Second French Republic, 1848-1851 were received as manifestos of the new art history in the English language. In 1974, his visiting professor position at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) turned into an associate professor rank. Clark returned to Britain and Leeds University to be chair of the Fine Art Department in 1976. In 1980 Clark joined the Department of Fine Arts at Harvard University, setting off a furor among many traditional and connoisseurship-based faculty. Chief among his Harvard detractors was the Renaissance art historian Sydney Freedberg, with whom he had a public feud. In 1991 Clark was awarded the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award. Notable students include Holly Clayson, Thomas E. Crow, Whitney Davis, Serge Guilbaut, Michael Leja, and Jonathan Weinberg. In 1988 he joined the faculty at UC-Berkeley.

In the early 1980s, he wrote an essay, “Clement Greenberg’s Theory of Art,” critical of prevailing Modernist theory, which prompted a notable and pointed exchange with Michael Fried. This exchange defined the debate between Modernist theory and the social history of art. Since that time, a mutually respectful and productive exchange of ideas between Clark and Fried has developed. Clark’s works have provided a new form of art history that take a new direction from traditional preoccupations with style and iconography. His books regard modern paintings as striving to articulate the social and political conditions of modern life.

Clark received an honorary degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2006. He is a member of Retort, a Bay Area-based collective of radical intellectuals, with whom he authored the book Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War, published by Verso Books.In 2006, Jontathan Nitzan, a professor of political economy at Canada’s York University and Shimshon Bicher an Israeli professor of economy in several Israeli colleges and universities alleged that Much of Retort’s explanation—including both theory and fact—contained in their book was plagiarized, “cut and pasted, almost as is,” from their several essays and books including “The Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition,” a 71-page chapter in their book, The Global Political Economy of Israel (Pluto 2002), as well as “It’s All About Oil” (2003), “Clash of Civilization, or Capital Accumulation?” (2004), “Beyond Neoliberalism” (2004) and “Dominant Capital and the New Wars” (2004). In a long essay titled Scientists and the Church they argued that the reason for Clark and his Retort colleagues theft of their intellectual content was rooted in the ancient clash of science and church. Retort’s plagiarism, they contended was “part of the constant attempt of every organized faith—whether religious or academic, liberal or Leninist, fundamentalist or postist—to disable, block and, if necessary, appropriate creativity and novelty. Creativity and novelty are dangerous. They defy dogma and undermine the conventional creed; they question the dominant ideology and threaten those in power; their very possibility challenges the church’s exclusive hold over truth. And that challenge is a cause for panic—for without this exclusivity, organized religion becomes irrelevant.” Verso, the publisher of Afflicted Powers, never responded to Nitzan and Bichler’s complaint.

Wikipedia contributors, ‘T. J. Clark (historian)’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 November 2010, 20:44 UTC, <en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=T._J._Clark_(historian)&oldid=396770773>

KENNETH CLARK

Dates: 1903-1983

Nationality: British

Kenneth McKenzie Clark, Baron Clark, OM, CH, KCB, FBA (July 13, 1903 – May 21, 1983) was a British author, museum director, broadcaster, and one of the best-known art historians of his generation. In 1969, he achieved an international popular presence as the writer, producer, and presenter of the BBC Television series, Civilisation.

Wikipedia contributors, ‘Kenneth Clark’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 November 2010, 15:33 UTC, <en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kenneth_Clark&oldid=397116336>

Growing up he attended Winchester. Clarke won a scholarship to Trinity College, Oxford, gave up hopes of becoming an artist, and set his sights on art history. In 1922 he met Charles F. Bell (q.v.), keeper at the Ashmolean Museum, whom he learned the elements of connoisseurship Bell introduced Clark to Bernard Berenson (q.v.) in Florence in 1925. Clark was immediately enthralled by Berenson. Though still a student at Oxford, he assisted Berenson with the revision of Berenson’s corpus of Florentine drawings. Clark worked for Berenson for over two years, honing his skills connoisseurship skills in Italian museums and in Berenson’s library of I Tatti. He married his Oxford classmate Elizabeth Winifred “Jane” Martin (1902-1976) in 1927.

Despite concentration on Italian Renaissance painting, Clark’s first book was a suggested topic of Bell’s, The Gothic Revival, published in 1928, an expansion of Bell’s numerous notes on the topic. Clark’s work with Berenson resulted in a 1929 commission to catalog the rich holdings of Leonardo da Vinci manuscripts at Windsor castle (published 1935). Leonardo was still largely undocumented, the previous century viewing Leonardo as a dark genius of largely unfinished work. Clark co-organized the famous exhibition of Italian painting at the Royal Academy, with Lord Balniel (David Lindsay, the future Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, 1900-1975), displaying works from Italy which had never before (or since in many cases) left Italy. The show influenced many, including Thomas S. R. Boase (q.v.), later director of the Courtauld and Warburg Institutes, whose art career can be traced to this show and Clark’s friendship. Though personally dissatisfied with his contribution to the exhibition catalog, Clark found himself lecturing widely as a result of the high profile show.

In 1931 Bell retired from the Ashmolean and Clark assumed his position as keeper of the department of Fine Art. The years 1933 to 1945 were ones of great accomplishment for him. In 1933 he was appointed director of the National Gallery, London, at age 31 the youngest director ever. Clark used his position to launch a major expansion of its collection. Ruben’s Watering Place (1617), Constable’s Hadleigh Castle (1829), Rembrandt’s Saskia as Flora (1635), and Poussin’s Golden Calf (1634) were among the many major additions to the Gallery. The following year, King George V appointed him surveyor of the King’s pictures. This led to a knighthood in 1938. Unlike his predecessors, Clark took charge of the museum directly. His brash approach and direct involvement in acquisitions led to large-scale dissatisfaction among the Gallery staff, most publicly with Keeper Martin Davies (q.v.). These years before World War II Clark rightly saw as “the Great Clark Boom.” He and Jane lived in the palatial Portland Place, she the president of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers and he the Director of the National Gallery, hosting parties for London society and intelligentsia.

In 1939 he published his Leonardo da Vinci: His Development as an Artist. During World War II, Clark and Davies evacuated nearly the entire collection to safe haven in a quarry cavern in Wales and instituted the Dame J. Myra Hess concerts in the empty museum. After the war, Clark resigned as director and focused on art writing. He was succeeded at the Gallery by Philip Hendy (q.v.). Clark taught as Slade Professor of fine art at Oxford, previously held by Hendy, between 1946-1950. In 1951 he published his book on Piero della Francesca. In 1953 he became the chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, an organization whose early incarnation, the CEMA (Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts), he helped found. That same year he delivered the Mellon Lectures in Washington, DC, which, in book form appeared in 1956 as the much-praised study, The Nude. In 1954 Clark agreed to become the first chairman of the Independent Television Authority in Britain, the commercial television competitor to the BBC. Clark and his wife bought Saltwood Castle in 1955, the home where they spent the rest of their days. When his appointment was not renewed in 1957 at ITA, Clark was hired by the rival BBC. Though 1966 saw both his New York Wrightsman lectures, and their publication as the book Rembrandt and the Italian Renaissance, it was the other event of that year that would create a new reputation for him. That year, he wrote and produced the first serious television series to tackle art history. The television series, Civilisation, was actually cancelled by the BBC and only broadcast three years later in 1969. But its affect on audiences, both in the United Kingdom and United States, was undeniable. Clark became a television star of sorts, a fame he likened to Ruskin’s in the nineteenth century.

<www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/clarkk.htm>

R.G. COLLINGWOOD

Dates: 1889-1943

Nationality: British

Robin George Collingwood (February 22, 1889 – January 9, 1943) was a British philosopher and historian. He was born at Cartmel Fell in Lancashire, the son of the academic W. G. Collingwood, and was educated at Rugby School and at University College, Oxford, where he read Greats. He graduated with congratulatory first class honors and, prior to his graduation, was elected a fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford.

Wikipedia contributors, ‘R. G. Collingwood’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 June 2010, 13:14 UTC, <en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=R._G._Collingwood&oldid=368983756>

R. G. Collingwood was primarily a general philosopher and philosopher of history, and considered his work in aesthetics—the principal work being his The Principles of Art (1938)—as secondary. But the work in aesthetics has enjoyed a persistent readership that continues into the present. In the years after WWII he was probably the most widely read and influential aesthetician to have written in English since Addison, Hutcheson and Hume (not counting Ruskin as an aesthetician), and to this day continues to make his way into anthologies as a principal proponent of the expressive theory of art. In the field of the philosophy of history, Collingwood famously held the doctrine of ‘Re-enactment’: since the subject is human beings in action, the historian cannot achieve understanding by describing what happened from an external point of view, but must elicit in the reader’s own mind the thoughts that were taking place in the principal actors involved in historical events. Similarly, the aesthetic procedure is one whereby the artist and spectator jointly come to realize, to come to know, certain mental states. Art is fundamentally expression. Collingwood saw two main obstacles to general understanding and acceptance of this: First, the word ‘art’ has surreptitiously acquired multiple meanings among ordinary folk which should be disentangled; second, a philosophical theory of the phenomenon of expression is needed to show that it is an essential part of the life of the mind, not just a special activity that poets go in for.

Kemp, Gary, “Collingwood’s Aesthetics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2009/entries/collingwood-aesthetics/>

BENEDETTO CROCE

Dates: 1866-1952

Nationality: Italian

Benedetto Croce (February 25, 1866 – November 20, 1952) was an Italian critic, idealist philosopher, and occasionally also a politician. He wrote on numerous topics, including philosophy, history, methodology of history writing and aesthetics, and was a prominent liberal, although he opposed laissez-faire free trade.

Croce’s work Breviario di Estetica (The Essence of Aesthetic) appears in the form of four lessons (quattro lezioni), as he was asked to write and deliver them at the inauguration of Rice University in 1912. He declined the invitation to attend the event; however, he wrote the lessons and submitted them for translation, so that they could be read in his absence. In this brief, but dense, work, Croce sets forth his theory of art. He claimed that art is more important than science or metaphysics, since only the former edifies us. He felt that all we know can be reduced to logical and imaginative knowledge. Art springs from the latter, making it at its heart, pure imagery. All thought is based in part on this, and it precedes all other thought. The task of an artist is then to put forth the perfect image that they can produce for their viewer, since this is what beauty fundamentally is – the formation of inward, mental images in their ideal state. Our intuition is the basis of forming these concepts within us. This theory was later heavily debated by such contemporary Italian thinkers as Umberto Eco, who locates the aesthetic within a semiotic construction.

Wikipedia contributors, ‘Benedetto Croce’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 December 2010, 19:48 UTC, <en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Benedetto_Croce&oldid=400716710>

CONCEPTUAL ART

Dates: 1966-1980

Origin: International

Key Artists: Joseph Kosuth, John Baldessari

a term which emerged in the 1960s to describe art designed to draw attention to the intellectual processes involved in its construction, and implicitly to question the critical judgements made of it. Works such as Marcel Duchamp’s Bottle Rack (1914; Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou) have been cited as precedents for Conceptual art. An important difference is that the creators of such ‘ready-mades’ were making conventional aesthetic and formal decisions in their choice of objects; displaced from its usual surroundings, Bottle Rack is revealed as a mysterious, sculpturally enthralling object. Conceptual art, however, is characterized by a suppression of formal peculiarities, denying the possibility of interest in any physical aspect of the work itself, as in Joint (1968, various locations) by Carl André (1935– ), a photograph of 183 units of baled hay. Other exponents of Conceptual art include Sol Lewitt, Bruce Nauman (1941– ), Dennis Oppenheim (1938– ), Keith Arnatt (1930– ), and Michael Craig-Martin (1941– ).

While it is concerned with the negation of formal interest in a work, the forms Conceptual art has taken have been very diverse. Texts, maps, diagrams, X-rays, audiocassettes, and videotape have all been used as communicative media. This diversity stems from the importance attached by Conceptual artists to such things as photographs and working notes. Regarded as relatively incidental and ephemeral in relation to more conventional kinds of art production, every stage in the creation and dissemination of a piece of Conceptual art is equally important in suggesting the intellectual and communicative processes of which it is a part.

Parfitt, Oliver. “Conceptual art.” The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t118/e601>

Joseph Kosuth

COLLABORATIVE ART

Dates: 1965-Present

Origin: International

Key Artists: Gilbert & George, Guerrilla Girls

Collaboration—or joint production by two or more artists—is a common style among musicians and performance artists. It has not been so popular, on the other hand, in the world of art, and especially in modern art. But the strong sense of individualism long possessed by artists of fine art began to wane around the 1960s, and some artists working in units have emerged and become widely known along with the development of new media based on the advances in information technology. They have changed the concept of art into something that can be engaged in by more than individual artists alone.

Wikipedia contributors. “Collaboration.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 Mar. 2010. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaboration>

Gilbert & George