ART 311 Art Theory and Criticism
This course will explore the major currents in the theories of meaning in and aesthetic response to works of visual art. What is the origin of the category “art”? Does it have universal validity? Are judgments about art merely subjective, or can they expect universal consensus? These are only some of the questions which will open the course; we will go on to consider the central problems of modern and postmodern art, and their role in our lives today. We will locate the roots of the issues of modern art criticism and theory in the Western philosophical tradition. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between visual expression and writing about visual art, between art and its criticism, and the ever narrowing gap between the two. Students should expect to do a significant amount of reading and writing. This course is offered the first half of the fall semester 2011-2012.
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Standing, one previous Art History course or consent of instructor.