Game of Knowledge: The Modern Interpretation of Art

Dissertation, University of Ottawa (Canada) (1995)

Summation. A specifically modern approach to the interpretation of art is distinguished, rooted in the insight that cognitivity in interpretation must be oriented by sensitivity to the subject-object paradigm. It is shown that specific modern theory of interpretation has become established in twentieth-century theory and practice. That theory is demonstrated to be a set of interpretative rules. The hidden dependence of those rules on specific conceptions of the nature of a work of art is revealed. Three such conceptions of the work of art that are basic to modern art history are articulated and critically examined by careful attention to actual works. Interpretation is shown to exceed the strictures of each model, with the specific consequence that the meaning of the work of art in modern times is systematically narrowed. Motives for that narrowing are discussed
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