Adolf Hitler: Speech Inaugurating the 'Great Exhibition of German Art' 1937. Realism as Critique. David A. Siqueiros: 'Towards a Transformation of the Plastic Arts' 1934. the tame still-lives and the harmless holiday scenes of the post-impressionists (not, it is significant to note, what was really new in English art, the war paintings of 1914-18). Within the rock shelters and caves of the northern and central areas of the . Action implies moral responsibility. Klingender's father, Louis Henry Weston Klingender (1861-1950), a native of Liverpool, was a painter of animals, a subject which the younger Klingender would return to himself late in life. True, such conclusions and ideas are much less complete and universal than life. His major works included Art and the Industrial Revolution (1947) , Goya in the Democratic Tradition (1948) and his posthumously published Animals in Art and Thought (1971). 11. What is more fundamental and hence more significant, Chernyshevski asks, Koramasin’s History of Russia or the Children’s History of Russia which a writer named Tappen abstracted from that work? Hence it would seem that to obtain an inspiring and significant image the artist should endeavour to create an authentic, documentary image of the living reality before him. … Form in relation to positive and negative space . In the first place, moral responsibility only begins where the type of action Fry calls instinctive – i.e. ‘I want to find out what the function of content is,’ he wrote in 1913 to G. L. Dickinson, ‘and am developing a theory... that it is merely directive of form and that all the essential aesthetic quality has to do with pure form. 11. But he was rudely shaken out of his complacency in social matters by the events of 1914-18. To achieve this he should study the actual soldiers of the 8th Army at their daily work; he should observe just how the various qualities which have made that Army what it is are reflected in the behaviour and bearing of particular individuals, how they modify and are in turn modified by the idiosyncrasies of those individuals; and the more faithfully he succeeds in recreating particular, living characters with all their idiosyncrasies – say the London busman who is now driving a tank or the Australian gunner – the more real and therefore also the more typical and universally significant his image will be felt to be. 11. Chernyshevski’s conception of ‘life’ as the content of art is thus dynamic, dialectical, it is the struggle of life, life as it is in reality and not in blissful dreams. (Francis Donald). A genuine front-line newsreel sequence far surpasses even the best war film in dramatic power and intensity. Klingender & Alsop dissolved their partnership in 1920 as a result of Alsop’s ill health, and Klingender formed a new partnership with R B Hamilton. ‘Everything that interests man in life’ includes the ugly, as well as the beautiful, the forces that frustrate and crush life, as well as those that support it, death as well as life. This passage is particularly revealing, first, because it emphasizes the goal to which Fry’s aesthetic development was inevitably leading him – he himself admitted that any attempt he might make to explain ‘significant’ form would land him ‘in the depths of mysticism’ – and secondly because it illustrates his peculiar method of analysis. It would be false and unconvincing precisely because of its character as a lifeless abstraction. Roger Fry’s Formalism. Leon Trotsky: from Literature and Revolution 1922-23. When Art and Technology Collide… 5 Great Books on Art and Technology selected by Choice reviewer William S. Rodner. Genre/Form: History: Additional Physical Format: Online version: Klingender, F.D. They differ in degree, but not in kind. However, most typically, form is defined by a combination of these factors, as is the case in this print by Max Ernst. Andre Breton: from the First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924. Form may also be defined by change in texture, even when hue and value remain essentially consistent. Of all the critics who have helped to mould our present standards of appreciation none can equal the influence of Roger Fry, the founder of British post-impressionism. ‘The beautiful’, says Chernyshevski, ‘is an individual, live object and not an abstract thought’. Grant Wood: from Revolt Against the City 1935. ‘It would seem that the definitions “Beauty is life,” “Beautiful are all things in which we see life as, according to our conceptions, it should be,” “Beautiful is an object which expresses life or reminds us of it” give a satisfactory explanation of all the ways in which the feeling of beauty is roused in us.’ [18]. This mythical element is progressively destroyed by the advance of science which, consequently, results in a decline of art. Realism as Critique: Leon Trotsky: from Literature and Revolution 1922-23. But, as Chernyshevski points out, ‘alcohol is not wine’. Revised and extended edition, edited and revised by Arthur Elton. As Francis Klingender states in . ‘To paint a face beautifully’ is quite distinct from ‘painting a beautiful face’. Marxism and Modern Art: An approach to social realism by F. D. Klingender 1943. Thus, according to Chernyshevski, the significance of a work of art is proportional to the comprehensiveness and truthfulness with which it faces and attempts to solve the problems set by life. Francis Donald Klingender (1907 – 9 July 1955) was a Marxist art historian and exponent of Kunstsoziologie whose uncompromising views meant that he never quite fitted into the British art … Structures and circuits begin to appear, surfacing a place for gathering and conjuring. I also conceived that the spectator in contemplating the form must inevitably travel in the opposite direction along the same road which the artist had taken, and himself feel the original emotion. Both agree that the real world in its rich and concrete actuality has no aesthetic significance. See F. D. Klingender, ‘Content and Form in Art’ in Herbert Read, F. D. Klingender, Eric Gill, A. L. Lloyd, Alick West, 5 on Revolutionary Art ... 1992), pp. For Klingender, they exist in a form of duality, open and closed, individual and collective. Life, reality in general, is more rich and varied, fuller and more significant than any figment of the imagination. Stuart Davis and Clarence Weinstock: 'Abstract Painting in America', 'Contradictions in Abstractions' and 'A Medium of 2 Dimensions' 1935. ‘The usual assumption of a direct and decisive connection between life and art is by no means correct’, he told the Fabian Society in 1917, ‘if we consider this special spiritual activity of art we find it no doubt open at times to influences from life, but in the main self-contained – we find the rhythmic sequences of change determined more by its own internal forces – and by the readjustment within it of its own elements – than by external forces. Stuart Davis and Clarence Weinstock: 'Abstract Painting in America', 'Contradictions in Abstractions' and 'A Medium of 2 Dimensions' 1935. But who would claim that science does not lead to responsive action or that it is ‘freed from the binding necessities of our actual existence’? I mean the general intellectual and instinctive reaction to their surroundings of those men of any period whose lives rise to complete self-consciousness, their view of the universe as a whole and their conception of their relations to their kind.’ [8]. In his pictures or novels, poems or plays such a man will bring up or solve some problem with which life faces thinking men and women. He even compared them favourably with those of the thirteenth century, although he regarded the latter period as more artistic. The same applies to the theories put forward by Fry’s successors: those who regard art as an emanation of the ‘sub-conscious’ exclude the whole vast realm of human consciousness; while the advocates of a biological ‘sense of form’ reduce art to the level of a pre-human, because pre-social, reflex. Francis Klingender: 'Content and Form in Art' 1935. Tim Klingender Fine Art. 11. The image that would result from such an attempt to distil only what is general from a multitude of living individuals, would be of the type which is only too familiar from hundreds of war memorials up and down the country. "This pioneer investigation remains one of the most original and arresting accounts of the impact of the new industry and technology upon the landscape of England and the English mind. In Art and Form Rose engages mainly with fellow authors in Nonsite, notably Todd Cronan and Patrick McCreless, noting intentionalist assumptions malgré eux, but his thesis is more strongly indebted to Michael Baxandall, Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985). 21 24 25 Introduction First writing assignment – what is art? Those capable of doing so are, he admits, but few: ‘in proportion as art becomes purer, the number of people to whom it appeals gets less’, [9] he had already told the Fabians in 1917. Yet precisely in so far as he did accept this mission he all but destroyed his poetic inspiration. In other words, it refers to the form and not to the content of the artist’s work. Realism as Critique. It can indicate form as well as movement. Such works will be, as it were, composed on themes set by life.’. André Breton: from the First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924. Fry admits that art is communication, i.e. Chernyshevski’s conception, on the other hand, anticipates the theories of William Morris and of all modern exponents of ‘functional’ design. 11. Posted on May 17, 2017 in Faculty Picks. To quote Fry’s own account, the discussion stimulated by the appearance of ‘post-impressionism’ revealed ‘that some artists who were peculiarly sensitive to the formal relations of works of art... had almost no sense of the emotions’ of life which he had supposed them to convey. But there was also another side in Tennyson’s work. The statement ‘this is beautifully painted’ means that the artist has succeeded in expressing what he intended to convey. For Fry seeks the aesthetic element precisely in the contemplation of form apart from its purpose and divorced from the content which it forms. Taking as his stalking horse a Symbolist literary theory, Shklovsky outlines an opposing view of the nature of art. The idea is sounder and more interesting than Klingender's Freudian orthodoxy allows him to admit. The quality which is most striking in The Palace of Art is its ambiguity. To Fry, as to most other intellectuals of his generation, the first world war came as a shattering bolt from the blue. Francis Klingender, Evelyn Antal, John P Harthan. In Animals in Art and Thought Francis Klingender discusses these various attitudes in a survey which ranges from prehistoric cave art to the later Middle Ages. Unable to comprehend the causes of the collapse, he was glad to escape into what now appeared to him as a ‘revolutionary advance’ in art – i.e. In other words, the interval of reflection which Fry claims as the distinguishing feature of artistic perception, is just as essential in any behaviour that can be subjected to a moral test. Of all the critics who have helped to mould our present standards of appreciation none can equal the influence of Roger Fry, the founder of British post-impressionism. Translating this example into more familiar terms we may ask: which are more significant, aesthetically and from every other point of view, Shakespeare’s plays or Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare? Our specialist interests are Australian Indigenous Art, Australian Art, Oceanic Art, Modern and Contemporary Art. 11. Though brilliant and plausible, this argument will not bear examination. Form may also be defined by change in texture, even when hue and value remain essentially consistent. And it also means that the aesthetic value of a work of art must in some way be related to the effect it produces, not merely in its own time, but as long as it survives. Art and the Industrial Revolution. Adolf Hitler: Speech Inaugurating the ′Great Exhibition of German Art′ 1937. And it was here, where he ceased to be pontifical and gave free vent to his emotions, that Tennyson became the true mirror of an important aspect of his age. ‘Science and art (poetry) are textbooks for those who are beginning to study life. Only the aesthetes still assert that art is superior to life and to reality.’, Chernyshevski sums up by stating that it is the essential function of art ‘to reproduce everything that interests man in life’. He himself later summarized its main conclusions as follows: ‘I conceived the form of a work of art to be its most essential quality, but I believed this form to be the direct outcome of an apprehension of some emotion of actual life by the artist, although, no doubt, that apprehension was of a special and peculiar kind and implied a certain detachment. ‘What matters in art is the contemplation of form’ and ‘in proportion as art gets purer, the number of people to whom it appeals gets less’, say the formalists. Francis Klingender: 'Content and Form in Art' 1935. “Larwill had a great eye and all the works in his collection are beautifully provenanced,” says Tim Klingender, the Sydney-based senior consultant of Australian art to Sotheby’s New York. As Shklovsky wrote elsewhere: 'A new form appears not in order to express a new content, but in order to replace an old form, which has already lost its artistic value.' Chernyshevski admits that beauty in this sense of perfection of form, or in the language of classical philosophy, of the ‘unity of idea and image’, is an essential element of art. To quote his own words: ‘Art, then, is an expression and a stimulus of the imaginative life, which is separated from actual life by the absence of responsive action. Angelo Lo Conte. It follows that art, too, far from being superior to reality, can only be a pale reflection of it: ‘All that finds expression in science and art can be found in life in a more perfect and complete form, with all those vital details in which the true meaning of the matter usually lies and which are often not understood and even more often disregarded by science and art. listeners cannot directly identify. 11. For Klingender, they exist in a form of duality, open and closed, individual and collective. Francis Klingender: 'Content and Form in Art' 1935. Unlike mathematics which interprets reality by reducing its multiplicity to abstract laws, art reproduces reality by means of images. Francis Klingender: ′Content and Form in Art′ 1935. It can describe edges. Harrison and Wood, 437. For in art the particular becomes the general, the general reveals itself in the particular, and it is the unity of the particular and the general, expressed in the unity of content and form, which makes art an inexhaustible source of significant experience. Compared with the degradation of art, when it served as the mouthpiece of Victorian cant, the doctrine of art for art’s sake was a great step forward. I know that I have no right to detach myself so completely from the fate of my kind, but I have never been able to believe in political values.’ [11] In the light of this confession it is not difficult to understand the curious phrase which Fry used in a letter to D. S. MacColl (1912) to define his own aim as a practising artist: ‘I’ve always been searching for a style to express my petite sensation in.’ [12] Estranged from life and indifferent to the fate of mankind, art, as here defined, has no other function but to cultivate the sensibility of the few elect. (Francis Donald). 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