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The Meaning and Significance of ‘Style’ in Contemporary Arts

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2011, 34(), pp.5-25
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : December 30, 2011

홍지석 1

1단국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper attempts to examine the concept of ‘style’, one of the main issues in the description of art history with a modern perspective. Within the binary opposition like identity/difference, group/individual. form/content, ‘style’ is the concept contiguous to the former(namely to the identity, group, content) historically. So, art historians and critics who want to revaluate the ‘difference’, ‘individual’ and ‘content’ in the history of art devaluating the concept of ‘style’ intentionally tend to substitute school(movement), artist, year for style as a category to describe art history. However the other art historians/critics like Georg Simmel, Dick Hebdige, Susan Sontag, Erwin Panofsky, George Kubler understand the concept of ‘style’ differently. They do not want to accept the frame of binary opposition unquestioningly. Instead they understand the frame flexibly or question the legitimacy of frame itself. In this sense, the style is not the old and authoritative concept speaking for a dominant world but a progressive and critical concept for a new art and society. First. Style can be the concept for a new wholeness. This wholeness do not means ‘monolithic total’ but means ‘perfectly individualistic total’(Simmel). Add to this, style can be the revolutionary language(expression) of minority in contemporary society(Hebdige). Second. Style can be the concept referring to the renewal way of perception and cognition suitable for a contemporary material culture(Sontag, Panofsky). Third. If we change the metaphorical model for a style, we can take another way to deal with the concept of style. For example, George Kubler had suggested that we could replace the botanical model with a metaphors drawn from physical science for a history of art.

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