æsthetics - The
branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and value of artobjects
and experiences. It is concerned with identifying the clues within
works that can be used to understand, judge,
and defend judgments about
those works. Originally, any activity connected with art, beauty and taste,
becoming more broadly the study of art's function, nature, ontology, purpose, and so on.
these interests have largely been supplanted by questions of meaning and linguistically
based investigations, such as those involving semiotics.
They have used the term to indicate a certain imprecise distinction
between art and life, or as a rough synonym for "artistic."
"Art is the imposing of a pattern
on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), English
philosopher and mathematician. Dialogues, June 10, 1943.
"Painting isn't an aesthetic operation;
it's a form of magic designed as a mediator between this strange
hostile world and us, a way of seizing the power by giving form
to our terrors as well as our desires."
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973),
Spanish artist. Quoted in: Françoise Gilot and Carlton
Lake, Life with Picasso, part 6 (1964).
"I hate that aesthetic game of the
eye and the mind, played by these connoisseurs, these mandarins
who 'appreciate' beauty. What is beauty, anyway? There's no such
thing. I never 'appreciate,' any more than I 'like.' I love or
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish artist. Quoted
in: Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso,
part 6 (1964).
"Aesthetics is for artists what ornithology is for birds."
Barnett Newman (1905-1970), American painter. See Abstract Expressionism and zip.
The American Society for Aesthetics is
the main professional organization for aesthetics in the United
States, promoting study, research, discussion and publication
in aesthetics. Aesthetics On-Line supplements the American
Society for Aesthetics Newsletter.
Institute of Applied Aesthetics is an independent academic
institute established in Lahti, Finland, in 1993 by the University
of Helsinki, the Finnish Society for Aesthetics, the city of
Lahti, and the Päijät-Häme Association for Higher
The Russian emigrant conceptual artist
team Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid are responsible for the projects
they titled "The Most Wanted paintings" and "The
Least Wanted paintings", reflect the artists' interpretation
of a professional market research survey about aesthetic preferences
and taste in painting. Intending to discover what a true "people's
art" would look like, the artists, with the support of the
Nation Institute, hired Marttila & Kiley, Inc. to conduct
the first poll. In 1994, they began the process which resulted
in America's Most Wanted and America's Least Wanted paintings,
which were first exhibited under the title "People's Choice." See conceptual art.