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ERIC Number: EJ790063
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Who Is the Artist If Works of Art Are Action Types?
Gracyk, Theodore
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v35 n2 p11-23 Sum 2001
A prevailing assumption of Western theorizing about art is that each work of fine art is to be attributed to a single individual, "the artist" who created it. Art education, particularly in art history, reflects this assumption. Despite the "New Art History" of the 1980s that revised and diversified the canon, education in art history remains a parade of great works by individual artists. The author calls the general form of the assumption as the thesis of singular artistic attribution, or SAA, which is often built into the very definition of art. However, SAA works against, rather than toward, consistency in the understanding of the various arts. It may be that the arts are too diverse for consistent theorizing, but any commitment to the importance of art education tends to assume that the various arts share some core of common features and values. As such, it is natural to seek a common "ontology" that unifies the arts. In this article, the author discusses Gregory Currie's ontology of art and modifications to Currie's ontology. He also considers some actual cases in the history of the visual arts that should be understood in light of multiple artistic attribution (MAA). MAA preserves Currie's demand that appropriate appreciation of a work of art involves appreciate an artist's "performance" in producing the work. It merges Currie's thesis that works of art are action types with the reality of artistic influence. Were there no possibility of "seeing" multiple actions in a canvas or a musical performance, nothing would be gained in demanding that the work's "heuristic" or generative context be counted as an element of its identity. (Contains 27 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A