Today’s lecture ‘Introduction to Aesthetics’ is going to take me a long while to make sense of. I’ve had a quick look through my notes and they are of very little help. I had no prior knowledge of the subject, apart from recognising the reasons why something is aesthetically pleasing or not, so I floundered during the talk.
Here goes my notes but I’ve no faith in them making any sense.
The sense of beauty
The feeling of pleasure and displeasure in relation to art.
What does it mean? (this is a question to myself as I was already drifting)
Baumgarten 1759 defined it to include the sensations – not just the physical. (Think of anaesthetic, the blocking of stimuli). The term was used by the Ancient Greeks. Abstract reasoning.
Sensory experiences such as hot, cold, loud, light, are organised matter and only when concept comes in sense can be made of the object.
(A quarter of an hour in and I don’t understand what is being talked about)
Intuition is part of sensibility. Space and time – the two forms of intuition. Make our experiences of the object possible.
Opposite view held by Paul Crowther. That we are autonomous and seek the standard within ourselves.
Anthony Ashely Cooper (Earl of Shaftesbury 1671-1713) discussed characteristics – we can find something beautiful without any ownership of it – disinterest.
The agreeable = uninterested
The beautiful = disinterest
Aesthetics gives feeling of pleasure and this is found from within ourselves – inner harmony produces it. It is not a direct cause from outside as eating a piece of chocolate would.
With Turner his work is all to do with colour and light but Kant dismisses colour – he says it is agreeable but not beautiful. He’s more interested in form organising the chaotic matter.
Deleuze…. ‘Art is not chaos’
Francis Bacon, Fragment of the Crucifixion, 1950, Oil and cotton wool on canvas, 140 cm × 108.5 cm, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Bacon interview with David Sylvester ‘Paint comes through the brain.’ Sensation is linked directly to the brain.
Rambling on, rambling on, rambling on. I’ve no idea what is being talked about. I’m beginning to switch off
‘We’ve still got this problem with Kant’ I hear – we …… I have! Lectuer sitting reading long quotes from his notes – I think most people have drifted away. Is he aware of his audience? A phrase he often uses is ‘It’s interesting that….’ I wish it was to me!.
Cezanne ‘Colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet. That’s why colour appears so entirely dramatic, to true painters.’
Kant dismissed colour then back-tracks – apart from true colour as seen through a prism.
A late-comer arrives; lecturer says he doubts if anything will make much sense to her. ‘But then I think I’ve lost most people here anyway.’
International Klein Blue
Colour is a great source of beauty – it has no boundaries even if colour has not been seen it can be imagined.
Image of Anish Kapoor Maroon but unable to find it.
The relationship between beauty and the sublime (future lecture).
1810, painter Philipp Otto Runge devised his Colour Sphere
The mathematics of colour, a geometric relationship between the colours.
Munsell’s colour sphere
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Yacht Approaching the Coast, 1845, Oil paint on canvas,1022 x 1422 mm, Tate London