Art Matters by Peter de Bolla

By Peter de Bolla

Within the face of a good murals, we so frequently stand mute, struck dumb. is that this a function—perhaps the 1st and foremost—of aesthetic event? Or will we lack the phrases to claim what we think? Countering present assumptions that paintings is valued basically in response to flavor or ideology, Peter de Bolla offers a voice—and vocabulary—to the beauty artwork can motivate. operating towards a greater realizing of what it truly is to be profoundly moved via a piece of paintings, he forces us to re-evaluate the significance of paintings works and the singular nature and cost of our adventure of them. in lots of methods a "practical aesthetics," artwork issues proceeds when it comes to instance. via chapters getting to 3 works of art—Barnett Newman's portray Vir Heroicus Sublimis, pianist Glenn Gould's moment recording of Bach's Goldberg diversifications, and William Wordsworth's poem "We Are Seven"—de Bolla plots a private background of aesthetic adventure that opens up the overall types of paintings appreciation. His publication invitations us to a more in-depth come across with artwork, and to a deeper appreciation and clearer expression of what such an come upon may possibly carry. (20011101)

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I will first take a work of visual art, a painting by the abstract expressionist painter Barnett Newman, before moving to an example of music, the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould’s second recording of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. My final example is taken from the domain of literature: Wordsworth’s poem We Are Seven. These three readings constitute an itinerary of sorts; they are moments within my ongoing aesthetic education. Although they are by no means meant to convey a historical or chronological account of that education (the last example has been known to me for the longest time by a matter of decades), they nevertheless build upon one another as ways of coming to understand better the nature of my affective experience.

In the next chapter I begin with Vir Heroicus Sublimis, but the need to start there—in a sense or sensation—is attenuated somewhat in the third chapter, on music. There I build upon the recognition that artworks ask us to confront the issue of distance as this concept arises in the perception and reception of them. And, building on the discussion in the third chapter, the discussion of poetry in the fourth starts out from what I hope is a clearly focused account of what is distinctively aesthetic in my encounters with art.

Most viewers find Rothko’s paintings emotionally engaging if not draining (this is certainly enhanced by knowledge of the painter’s life and eventual suicide), full of warmth, passion, and above all open to the viewer. Although the look of these paintings is not a million miles away from Newman’s canvases there is, nevertheless, a material difference between them. In Rothko’s case the paint is applied unevenly, its density varies; the application of paint to canvas is still a part of its material presentation.

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