• Art and Intuition, or Pygmalion Rediscovered

    Arnold Berleant (see profile)
    Art, Chinese, Aesthetics, Art
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    Book chapter
    Chinese art, Landscape art
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    While this essay does not deal explicitly with the relation between eastern and western aesthetics, its choice of theme seizes on a dimension of art which, perhaps more than any other, spans both traditions. Indeed intuition, as it is developed in the discussion that follows, can be taken as the characteristic feature of much oriental art, surfacing particularly in the landscape painting of China and Japan, and in that remarkable poetic form, the haiku. Yet this same artistic quality has become explicit at times in western art too, as in the impressionist and post-impressionist painting of the late 19th and early 20th centuries(itself influenced by the study of oriental art), and romantic poetry of 19th century England. But that art which most fully and consistently embodies the intuitive impulse is music, and this without regard to cultural tradition. It is my contention, however, that an aesthetics of intuition is capable of general illumination in art and not just of the art of particular modes and styles. Since it is in the East, though, that art seems to have expressed this trait most openly, to develop intuition as a concept in an aesthetics of western art is, then, something of an acknowledgment of the lesson taught by the artistic tradition of the orient.
    Value and the Arts, ed. E.Laszlo & James B. Wilbur (Geneseo: State University College of Arts & Sciences, 1976) pp.5-20. A version of this paper was published as Chapter 7, "Intuition and Art, or Pygmalion Rediscovered," in Arnold Berleant, Re-thinking Aesthetics, Rogue Essays on Aesthetics and the Arts (Farnham, UK & Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004). ISBN 978-0754650133
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    6 years ago
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