Aestheticism: Deep Formalism and the Emergence of Modernist Aesthetics [Book Review]

British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (4):437-440 (2017)
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Abstract

Surely amongst the most exciting and vindicating features of philosophy and criticism of art are the interactions that they have with the actual practices of art. The histories of art and current discussions about art are dotted with special moments in which philosophers or critics—from Ruskin through to Danto and beyond—become influenced, or were influenced by, the art of their times. More curious—and less common still—is the influence of philosophy of art on art criticism, or the other way around. The guidance or sway of one relative to the other is sporadic and not clearly or universally welcome. Identifying significant instances of such influence should prompt the re-examination of connections between the two endeavors, in historical and normative terms.Michalle Gal offers just such a prompt. Her study of the nineteenth century Aestheticism of Pater, Wilde, and Whistler takes that critical movement as precursor to another critical movement, the early formalism of Fry and Bell. In her recasting of this history of criticism, the two movements are joined by a philosophy which she terms ‘Deep Formalism’.

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Saul Fisher
Mercy College

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The Uselessness of Art.Peter Lamarque - 2010 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (3):205-214.

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