In contrast to the prevalent concept of the artist in Western societies as the avant-garde individualist is the sociological art-world perspective, which emphasizes the similarities of artistic and other activities rather than the distinctions between them. Adopting this theory, the contributors to this volume explore answers to such questions as: Who is permitted or required to be an artist? Which objects or events are considered to be works of art? Who is willing or able to be among audiences of these works? What do the processes of creation and appreciation consist of? These questions are approached psychologically, historically, and sociologically. The concept of the art world confronts and undermines the romantic ideology of art and artists that is still dominant in Western societies. By treating the production of art as work and artists as workers and examining the conditions under which these activities take place, this sociological perspective illuminates much that remains obscured by romantic individualism.The art worlds analysis represented in this collection of original studies questions the social arrangements that determine the recruitment and training of artists, the institutional mechanisms that govern distribution and influence success, the processes of innovation within art worlds, and the emergence of new formations around new media or new players. These studies share a focus on borderline cases and questionson actions, transactions, and transitions at the margins of art worlds.Controversies and critical incidents expose many of the otherwise invisible rules and procedures that determine art world practices. Examining transitions across the border into art worlds has much to tell us about aesthetic values and biases obscured by the romantic ideology of artistic genius. Looking at art worlds organized around marginal mediaamateur photography, video, graffitireveals patterns of interaction and evaluation strikingly reminiscent of those found in the fine art mainstream.The research reflected in this volume was conducted at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania. By approaching the study of art worlds from within the framework of communications studies, these scholars were free from the disciplinary boundaries that separate the study of art into social, historical, and aesthetic domains. At the same time, they were obliged to follow the threads of their questions wherever they led without resorting to the security of those same disciplinary constraints. These studies reflect the rich potential, indeed the necessity, of interdisciplinary approaches that combine empirical investigation and theoretical analysis for a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the workings of art worlds.
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These 13 essays by 12 authors follow up on Howard Becker's pioneering sociological study Art Worlds (LJ 5/15/82). Quantitative and historical research examining a variety of media, movements, and artists considered "marginal" was conducted by graduate students working with editor Gross (Annenberg Sch. for Communication, Univ. of Pennsylvania). Readers will linger over the controversial and thought-provoking pieces the students produced, such as "Public Art and Cultural Authority," "From East to West": Polish Artists in the New York Art World," and "Trading Places in the Art World: The Reputations of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans." Unfortunately, however fascinating, the arguments are sometimes tarnished by misconceptions, e.g., that "fine art" excludes functional objects, crafts, and folk art and that it remains the domain of the upper classes and the romantic genius artist. Still, as an addition to the small field of sociology of the art world, this is recommended for larger academic collections.
Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Towson State Univ., Md.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descrizione libro Westview Pr (Short Disc), 1995. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria SONG0813316790