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Aesthetics as Meta-criticism

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2010, 32(), pp.5-36
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : December 30, 2010

Joosik Min 1

1영남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Art criticism is a human activity to argue through critical statements. So, if we study art criticism, we should notice on its ‘language’ above all. In contemporary society, critical statements have expanded excessively in quantity, and further the vocabulary, method and logic used in criticism are complex and confusing. Furthermore, we are skeptical about the purpose and the function of criticism. We need to observe clearly this bewildering contemporary circumstance of criticism, and to recognize carefully the main concepts and task of criticism. In this paper, I would like to examine the problem consciousness of meta-criticism or philosophy of art criticism, which was emerged as a new trend of aesthetics in the latter half of 20th century, and investigate the significance of meta-criticism in these days. Generally, meta-criticism means criticism of criticism. In other words, it is the examination of the principles, methods, and terms of criticism either in general (as in critical theory) or in the study of particular critics or critical debates. The term usually implies a consideration of the principles underlying critical interpretation and judgement. We can think two reason why meta-criticism has emerged. Firstly, it is a new the tendency with the purpose which was needed from the real critical activity, and secondly it is a new transition of aesthetics which should deal with the second language on art. M. C. Beardsley and J. Stolnitz are the representatives of philosophy of art criticism or meta-criticism. Its purpose is to analyze and clarify the basic concepts which are used in describing, interpreting and evaluating the individual works of art by art critics. Philosophy of art criticism is the study on the critical arguments. It examines not only the existence of art criticism, but the principles of description, interpretation and evaluation. Accordingly, its main themes are the aesthetic usage, the standard of evaluation and the value judgement concerning the critical statements. The intimate relationship between criticism and aesthetics is gradually noticeable in the sense that criticism makes ground for aesthetics. In this context we can confer three examples of avant-garde art movement, namely Harold Rosenberg on action painting, Richard Wollheim on minimal art and Arthur Danto on pop art. They played crucial role to give citizenship to avant-garde arts. They cannot help to asking the nature of art in order to evaluate those arts. It means that criticism accompany and demand aesthetics. In this manner, the relationship between criticism and aesthetics is no less intimate than that between art and criticism. Meta-criticism will practice important role to solve actual problematic circumstance of art.

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