Notebook, 1993-


Aesthetic (s)

Pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or characterized by a love of beauty . . . . Study of the qualties perceived in works of art, with a view to the abstraction of principles. . . . . To Perceive . . . . Study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty . . . . Pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

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Wholeness? The perception of quality as a standard? A validity?

The inflection? A tone? Broad spaciousness . . . . ?

Relationships in weight and depth of substance? The clarity of space . . . ? Ease and the absence of technical or stylistic presence? Interval and silence . . . ? Range in tone--clarity of hue? Meaning and Ingenuousness--the deliberation? Freshness? Presence?

Do we regard the aesthetic as to 'the whole' of a work of art? . . . . Is it affect and responsiveness . . . . ? Perhaps the aesthetic experience is purely Intellectual stimulation in an attempt to apprehend the makeup of perfection or completion . . . . Does the aesthetic require intellectual and disciplinary exercise? What are the theories? . . . .

An acquired taste? Is the apprehension acquired, expanded, and developed? Is there a formula in regard to forms or the relationships of the forms--Forms of Visual Concept? Possibly it is a matter of proportion, accomodation, consortina.

If there is an aesthetic isn't it obvious to anyone? Perhaps 'understanding' or 'developing an understanding' is the frosting on the cake.

A design? Something known in terms of the quality or qualities of relationships . . . . .

What are some qualities: Fresh, Deep, Broad, True, Clear, Fine . . . .

Perhaps aesthetics must be formally addressed as a Principle (the coordination of parts)? Is this a matter of communication? Maybe an aesthetic is something achieved through emphasis in meaning, etc. Must there be something Predominating within the materials and processes - the handling of these? Should we see that?

Can an aesthetic be expressed or perhaps clarified through selected visual elments or associations or principles of relationship? A recipe?

Is it encountered or found? Do you have to look? How is it sought? Perhaps an aesthetic denotation is applied through the development of highly technical and synthetic materials and procedures--technically fine. Given the tools it is easily available? How are aesthetics realized in traditional disciplines and concepts through the use of line, form, tone, texture, balance, chromatic juxtaposition and other forms of practical, relational, conceptual elements and guides? Will this prepare us for the encounter --inspire us to seek an aesthetic experience?

. . . Of use? Why value aesthetic experiences? Are aesthetic experiences and perceptions developed? Does it require a mode of activity to apprehend it? . . . . Is this something Before or Beyond particulars or a context? Is it fundamental? Original? Are there many Personal, Conceptual, Theoretical, Social, Cultural, Traditional, Historic aesthetic orientations without an aesthetic becoming idiosyncratic --does it have to be universal? . . . . Will it reflect changes in Taste? Or is that style? Is it Development of tastes for a range of interests - or is an aesthetic absolute, to be apprehended at any moment? Would it or should it be Practical/Functional . . . . Must it be something Refined/Disciplinary . . . .

Is it Realized or is it Recognized? Which is most certainly shared?

Development in understanding may proceed through personal appreciation of the arts and art works on a very general level . . . . or may proceed to develop through works of a specific discipline [i.e., Oil Painting, Photography, Intaglio, etc.] or disciplines [multi-media]. . . . or may proceed with changing focus upon categories of visual arts experience [i.e., aims and objectives involved with one's understanding of visual elements and relationships] . . . . or may proceed specific to a Historic, Cultural, Practical, Theoretical, or Topical focus.

C  O  N  S  I  D  E  R  A T  I  O  N  S

To perceive

Pertaining to a Sense of the Beautiful

Characterized by a Love of Beauty

Qualities - Study of Qualities

Relationship of Mind & Emotions to Sense of Beauty

Abstraction of Principles - Idea, Theory, Philosophy of what is Aesthetically Valid.

Form, Space and Vision
Aesthetic: A word with a variety of connotations concerning the whole experience of the arts.

a) It refers to that quality in a work of art which we describe as beauty or perfection of form.

b) It implies the meaningful nature of art--the feeling and thought which is aroused, whether the form be beautiful or not.

c) It alludes to the imaginative nature of artistic statements: That the "aesthetic" element springs from a deeper level of consciousness. [Collier, Graham. Form, Space & Vision, An Introduction to Drawing and Design. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1985.]

Oxford Dictionary Of Art br>Aesthetics: Term defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'the philosophy or theory of taste, or of the perception of the beautiful in nature and art'. It was first used about the middle of the 18th cent. by the German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714-62), who applied it to the theory of the liberal arts or the science of perceptible beauty. The scope and usefulness of the term have been much discussed, and in Gwilt's Encyclopaedia of Architecture (1842), it was still described as a 'silly pedantic term' and one of 'the useless additions to nomenclature in the arts' which had been introduced by the Germans. In the 20th cent. there is no general agreement about the scope of philosophical aesthetics, but it is understood to be wider than the theory of fine art and to include the theory of natural beauty and non-perceptible (e.g. moral or intellectual) beauty in so far as these are thought to be susceptible of philosophical or scientific study. [Chilvers, Ian, Harold Osborne, and Dennis Farr, eds. Oxford Dictionary Of Art. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.]

Oxford Dictionary Of Art
Aestheticism: A term applied to various exaggerations of the doctrine that art is self-sufficient and need serve no ulterior purpose, whether moral, political, or religious. Both the doctrine and its exaggerations have found expression in the phrase 'art for art's sake' (l'art pour l'art), which was apparently first used by the French philosopher Victor Cousin (1792-1867) in his lectures on Le Vrai, le Beau et le Bien (1818, first published in 1836) at the Sorbonne. In England "art for art's sake" became the catchword of an exaggerated Aestheticism which was satirized as early as 1827 by Thomas de Quincy in his essay On Murder considered as one of the Fine Arts. The affected dandyism and extravagant cult of the beautiful that characterized the 'Aesthetic Movement' in late 19th-cent. England was brilliantly parodied by Gilbert and Sullivan in Patience (1881). In 1870's and 1880's the hyper-sensibility cultivated by certain followers of the Pre-Raphaelites obtained a sanction that was almost official in Walter Pater, who in the conclusion to The Renaissance (1873) advocated a sensibility which finds the most precious moments of life in the pursuit of sensations raised to a pitch of 'poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for art's sake'. Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) expressed the same primacy for the aesthetic experience. Reaction from the tendency to regard the artist and connoisseur as specially endowed individuals whose role was to withdraw from everyday life and remain shut off in what the critic Sainte-Beuve (1804-69) first (1n1829) called the 'Ivory Tower' came from the Arts and Crafts Movement of William Morris and Lethaby. Ruskin, despite his enthusiastic worship of beauty, threw in his weight against an art which was out of touch with common life, and his controversy with Whistler on the 'art for art's sake' doctrine has become famous. The would-be emancipation of fine art from moral standards and the common man was challenged by Tolstoy in What is Art? (1898).

The exaggerated one-sidedness of the doctrine that art may have no ulterior motive, religious, political, social, or moral, hardly survived the turn of the century, though an echo of the implied emphasis may be seen in the extreme version of the 'Formalist' doctrine advocated by Clive Bell, who maintained that the values of visual art reside solely in its formal qualities to the exclusion of subject or representation. But the more moderate form of the doctrine, in which it is held that aesthetic standards are autonomous, and that the creation and appreciation of beautiful art are 'self-rewarding' activities, has become an integral part of 20th cent. aesthetic outlook. [Chilvers, Ian, Harold Osborne, and Dennis Farr, eds. Oxford Dictionary Of Art. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.]

R  E  F  E  R  E  N  C  E  S 
Aesthetics 1. Philos. the study of the qualties perceived in works of art, with a view to the abstraction of principles. 2. the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty. Also, esthetics.

Aesthetic 1. pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to aesthetics. 2. having a sense of the beautiful or characterized by a love of beauty. 3. pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality. -n. 4. aesthetics. 5. a theory or idea of what is aesthetically valid. Also esthetic. [< NL aesthetic(us) < GK aisthétés = aisthé- (var. s. of aisthánesthai to perceive) + -tés agent suffix]

[Urdang, Laurence, ed. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York: Random House, 1968.]



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