Kazimir MalevichBlack Square, oil on canvas,
Anywhere Or Not At All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art Published: Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso,pp.
Reviewed by John Rapko, College of Marin In his new book Peter Osborne attempts to give a philosophical account of contemporary visual art. Osborne claims that contemporary art is in what he calls a post-conceptual condition arising from three recent events in the visual arts: Such works present novel challenges to understanding, but Osborne is particularly concerned that the practice of art in contemporary life tends to succumb to a kind of social pressure to conformism, which manifests itself most saliently in the attempt to understand works of contemporary art as instances of the traditional genres of painting and sculpture, suitably expanded.
Against this conformism, Osborne urges a 'critical' philosophy of contemporary art, one that in addition is closer to the achievements the works embody than is grasped in the conformist model.
A direct consequence of this approach is that Osborne is not interested in surveying the range of contemporary visual art -- works in new media, collage, installation, performances, as well as works with the traditional genres of painting and sculpture.
The demands placed upon such works flow from their 'contemporaneity', that is, from their ascribed aim to embody various important aspects of distinctively contemporary life.
So a second major aspect of the philosophy of contemporary art is to investigate whether and in what sense contemporary art is distinct from modern and non- or pre-modern arts. But the determination of the general features in abstraction from their embodiment in particulars remains indefinite and opaque.
The investigation of these two aspects cannot be ultimately separated from each other, because for Osborne what makes a work paradigmatic is that it reflects or embodies those very The minimalist movement in art and its representatives that mark contemporary art most distinctively.
In this sense, the artistic interest of the idea always 'exceeds' its embodiments. The embodiments afford perception for a work's viewers, and such perceptions and their expressive qualities constitute the aesthetic dimension of the artwork. But conceptual art was a short-lived movement: Yet the movement, Osborne thinks, has established a new ontology for artworks.
The achievement of conceptual art is to break in practice the hitherto taken-for-granted equation between the realm of aesthetics and that of artworks.
Aesthetics returns, but no longer as exhaustive of the center of artistic interest. As Osborne puts it, conceptuality is a necessary but insufficient condition for something being a work of contemporary art. The sufficient conditions are supplied by the use of various materials, put to artistic uses within the characteristic conditions of contemporary art.
Much of the effort, both analytical and polemical, of the book is devoted to presenting the distinction between conformist and critical ways of construing the physical materials of contemporary works. As noted above, Osborne is particularly opposed to thinking of post-conceptual artworks as expanded versions or developments of the traditional genres of painting and sculpture, and offers as an alternative various considerations for thinking that seeking continuity between contemporary and pre-contemporary art in this way is misguided.
One problem is that such a construal could not contribute to a philosophical account of the basic features of contemporary art, which is marked by non-traditional uses of traditional materials, non-traditional materials, and emergent genres such as installation, video, and performance.
A ready response to this would be that construing post-conceptual art as falling into expanded traditional genres along with new genres provides a stable framework for categorization, and further helps shape an investigation into the ways in which perennial ways of making artistic meaning are taken up in both kinds of newer arts.
For Osborne this response is superficial, as it misses the key phenomenon of the "the crisis of mediations. The categories of contemporary art are then "mediations of the crisis of mediation.
At least for modern and contemporary art, which mediations are rightly used that is, the ones that play a productive critical, non- or anti-conformist role is itself a major issue in understanding the art. As such, the project is infinite, and the series can only be grasped as an infinite approximation.
Contemporary art, then, considered as a non-conformist, critical activity, is a post-conceptual art of series and ephemeral categorizations 'mediations'. Osborne attempts to make this account more determinate in three ways.
Third, he offers an account of several recent exemplary works, each using multi-media to address the topic of displacement of peoples and memory.
The dynamic common to these ways is the concern embodied by modernist art to reject the past, established art forms and their typical ways of being practiced in favor of some new manner, and thereby to affirm the new manner as a way, and perhaps the uniquely appropriate way, of practicing a kind of art expressive of the modern world.
A problem with this conception is that it blocks the formation of the "generic conception" of a work of contemporary art that best captures the work's distinctive ontology. In this 'generic' conception of art, artworks are categorized primarily as simply art, and not primarily as instances of a particular medium, such as painting; there are of course artistic paintings in contemporary art, but on this conception only as and through 'determinate negations' of their traditional or modernist character.
Jeff Wall's attempt to orient his photography to the depictive tradition previously carried by painting must lapse into the conformism of the practice of traditional media.Minimal art, along with the music of Erik Satie and the aesthetics of John Cage, was a distinct influence on Minimalist music.
Reacting against the complex, intellectually sophisticated style of modern music, several composers began to compose in a simple, literal style, thereby creating an extremely simple and accessible music. The brand remains faithful to its Canadian supplier for the final touch: the packaging.
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In later decades, his artist friends included representatives of pop, minimalist, and conceptual art as well.
But despite his many friendships in the heart of the New York art world, Jensen remained firmly separated from any contemporary art movement. The slow death of the no-logo movement. But Jeffries’ decision to join the ranks of minimalist, fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Urban Outfitters deserves closer scrutiny.
idealistic representatives ranging from Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters in the s to the post-hardcore band Fugazi in the late s reacted to the. Sep 07, · The minimalist movement has inspired tons of millennials to move into tiny homes, cut their wardrobes and donate their possessions.
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Jul 27, · This was an early 20th century Modernist movement sharing some formal characteristics with the then parallel developing Art Deco style though very different in its intentions. Art Deco focused on a glamorous image but was devoid of any of the stark idealistic values which drove Die Neue Sachlichkeit shapes and art.