American group of photographers, active 1932–5. It was a loose association of San Francisco Bay Area photographers who articulated and promoted a modern movement in photographic aesthetics. The group was formed in August 1932 by photographers who shared an interest in pure and unmanipulated photography as a means of creative expression. It derived its name from the smallest possible aperture setting on a camera, the use of which resulted in the greatest and sharpest depth of field, producing an image with foreground and background clearly focused. The original membership consisted of Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, John Paul Edwards (1883–1958), Sonya Noskowiak (1900–75), Henry Swift (1891–1960), Willard Van Dyke (1906–86), and Edward Weston. The emphasis on clarity was partly a reaction against the lingering Pictorial photography in West Coast photography, exemplified by the work of William Mortensen (1897–1965) and Anne Brigman (...
(b Königsberg [Kaliningrad], Aug 27, 1730; d Münster, June 21, 1788).
German philosopher and theologian. After travels that included sojourns in London and Riga, he based himself in his native city from 1759, occupying minor posts and acting as a Christian gadfly to the German Enlightenment. He separated himself from Kant with the esoteric Sokratische Denkwürdigkeiten (1759), which spurned the philosophy and recondite style of the Enlightenment. His differences were further developed in the first, and perhaps most influential riposte to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, the Metacritik über den Purismum der Vernunft (1784), which questions how it is possible to criticize reason without assuming its validity, and claims that reason was already abstracted from language.
A similar argument informs Hamann’s main work in the philosophy of art, the ‘Aesthetica in Nuce’, one of the Kreuzzuge des Philologen (1762). This essay, subtitled ‘a rhapsody in cabbalistic prose’, attacks the abstract theories of imitation proposed by German ...
Term first formally used by the American artist Allan Kaprow for his 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, presented in early October 1959 at the Reuben Gallery, New York City, as the inaugurating event for that space. (Informal “happening-like” experiments had been presented by Kaprow in April 1958 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and at the Reuben Gallery in a pre-opening piece called Intermission [June 1959].) Through 1960, the artists pioneering the Happenings form were: Kaprow, Robert Whitman (b 1935), Claes Oldenburg, Simone Forti, Red Grooms, Al Hansen and Jim Dine. Happenings appeared at experimental downtown spaces such as Groom’s “Delancey Street Museum” (his studio on the lower East Side), the Judson Church (on Washington Square) and the Reuben Gallery, as well as in New Jersey, at George Segal’s farm, and on the campus of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where Kaprow was teaching and Whitman was a student. According to Whitman, when Kaprow named ...
Resurgence in black culture, also called the New Negro Movement, which took place in the 1920s and early 1930s, primarily in Harlem, a neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan, but also in major cities throughout the USA, such as Chicago, Detroit, St Louis, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, DC, as well as in the Caribbean and in Paris. Better known as a literary movement because of the publication of twenty-six novels, ten volumes of poetry, five Broadway plays and countless essays and short stories, the Harlem Renaissance (a term that historian John Hope Franklin coined in 1947) also produced many works of visual art, dance, and music. The term invokes a rebirth of African American creativity. Some scholars argue that the renaissance refers to ancient African cultures in Egypt, Kush, and Meroë, while others say that the rebirth dates to the 1890s when writers such as Paul Laurence Dunbar were active, although few notable works of literature by African Americans date between W. E. B. DuBois’s ...
(b Stuttgart, Aug 27, 1770; d Berlin, Nov 14, 1831).
German philosopher. From 1788 until 1793 he was a student at the university at Tübingen where he read philosophy and theology. He held academic posts at Jena between 1801 and 1806, but his career there was cut short by the Napoleonic occupation of the city. After a period as a newspaper editor and then as rector of a gymnasium at Nuremberg, he returned to university teaching, holding a chair of philosophy at Heidelberg in 1816 and one at Berlin two years later. The works he published during his lifetime fell mainly within the spheres of metaphysics, epistemology and political theory; while at Berlin, however, he also gave extensive lecture courses on other branches of philosophy, including aesthetics. The lectures on aesthetics, which Hegel delivered on various occasions during the 1820s, were edited and published posthumously in 1835.
In developing his philosophical system, which was formidable in its scope and daunting in its complexity, Hegel assigned to aesthetics a position of great importance. He considered art, along with religion and philosophy, one of the fundamental modes of consciousness whereby human beings acquired a profound comprehension both of themselves and of the world they inhabited. Thus he felt obliged to undertake a careful investigation of its nature and significance. But the close attention he paid to it also had a more personal source: Hegel was deeply responsive to, and knowledgeable about, certain forms of artistic achievement....
Hubert L. Dreyfus
(b Messkirch, Sept 26, 1889; d Messkirch, May 26, 1976).
German philosopher. He studied theology then philosophy and science at the University of Freiburg, where he taught until his death. The main influence on his thought was the Phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, which he turned against its founder, first criticizing Husserl’s Cartesian assumption that intentional consciousness mediates between the mind and things in the world, and then criticizing any ahistorical attempt to understand human beings and being in general.
Heidegger spoke of art only occasionally, but he dedicated one important essay to the subject: ‘Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes’ (1950, written in 1935). Here Heidegger holds that a work of art is an object with a special function: it is ‘a being in the Open …in which the openness takes its stand and attains its constancy’. The Open for Heidegger is the world of a culture. It is a space opened up by a particular understanding of what it is to be a thing, a person, an institution and so on, in which something can show up ...
Amy Rosenblum Martín
(b Havana, Jun 21, 1966).
Cuban conceptual artist, active in the Dominican Republic. Henríquez explored aesthetic politics by combining art and popular culture with design savvy and wit to counter neocolonialist, racist, and gender hierarchies. She studied under 1980s Cuban Renaissance artists and received her MFA from Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana (1992). She went on to collaborate with Consuelo Castañeda (1989–1996). Henríquez lived in Mexico and Miami (1991–1997), then returned to her intermittent home Santo Domingo. ARTnews (September 2007) named Henríquez one of twenty-five art world trendsetters.
Henríquez challenged center/periphery power dynamics, crossing northern art history with Dominican street styles or examining First and Third World intellectual exchange. Her conceptualism asked questions like whose aesthetic criteria counts, where. She also thought beyond center/periphery dualities to deconstruct power relations. She challenged gender and nationalist stereotyping together with her feminized collages of hyper-masculine newspaper images of Dominican baseball stars abroad. She compared foreign and local representations of “Dominicaness.” To address insider Dominican–Haitian tension, she videotaped two Haitian construction workers in the Dominican Republic playing catch with a cement block whose game devolves into exhaustion. In another series, she reoriented the geographical poles of marginalization from North–South to East–West by comparing California and New York art. Yet another artwork was a model of multiple, movable centers: viewers wheel around on stools emblazoned with a photograph of an umbilicus....
(b Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, May 4, 1776; d Göttingen, Niedersachsen, Aug 14, 1841).
German philosopher and psychologist. His philosophy was based on a development and criticism of that of Immanuel Kant. At its centre was a psychological theory about the satisfaction and dissatisfaction felt by the mind in bringing coherence to its perceptions. This was both an aesthetic theory of mental development and a theory of aesthetics. His theory was fundamental to subsequent formalist aesthetic theories of the 19th century. The most general objective of his theory was to construct an account of mental development that avoided the extreme positions of John Locke and Gottfried Wilhelm von Liebniz. He opposed the former’s notion that the mind was a structureless tabula rasa that developed ideas from the sensory data received from outside. He also rejected Leibniz’s view that the mind develops from within itself and sought to unite these two theories without resorting to Kant’s faculty psychology. Herbart conceived of mental life as the emergence and interaction of experiences, which he thought of as initially being sensory presentations (...
(b Mohrungen, Aug 25, 1744; d Weimar, Dec 18, 1803).
German theorist. He was the most consistent and influential critic of German Enlightenment philosophy and aesthetic theory. His impeccable Enlightenment pedigree as a student of Kant at the University of Königsberg in the early 1760s and his acquaintance with Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert during his visit to Paris in 1769 were combined with a friendship and sympathy for the person and works of Johann Georg Hamann and other professed opponents of the Enlightenment. His insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the Enlightenment enabled him to offer an alternative theoretical basis for the work of the younger Sturm und Drang writers of the 1770s, headed by Goethe. In 1776 he was appointed at Goethe’s behest to the post of General Superintendent of the Lutheran Church in Weimar, where he remained until his death.
Although Herder published in several fields, ranging from the philosophy of language and epistemology to aesthetics and theology, all he wrote revolved around a critique of the ahistorical character of the German Enlightenment. His thought combines two main elements: the recognition that reason is grounded in sentiment, a position later described as ‘metacritical’; and the perception that the grounding of reason is the product of a specific history, and cannot be understood apart from it....
Term applied, in the most general sense, to the practice and theory of interpretation. The word is derived from the name of the Greek god Hermes, the divine messenger. The objects of hermeneutics are primarily spoken utterances and written texts, especially those that appear obscure or are presumed to convey a hidden message, but the term is very broadly used. Every human product, from individual works of visual art to whole social and cultural systems, can be subject to interpretation. According to Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer (b 1900), the activity of interpretation constitutes the essence of human life.
Modern hermeneutics began as the theory and practice of the interpretation of the text of the Bible. The emergence of Protestantism placed great emphasis on the proper understanding of the biblical text, since it denied the authority of the Church’s accepted readings. By the mid-18th century in Germany, study of the Bible aimed at discovering the abiding moral truths hidden in the apparently naive and mythological stories of the text. This ‘historical–critical’ approach to the Bible made heavy use of the methods then being developed by classical philology, particularly grammatical analysis and research into the historical context of the text’s composition....
Term used to describe a tendency in the work of some artists and architects to see their work as part of a general process of cultural development capable of historical analysis. The term was first used in this sense by the German art historian Hermann Beenken to describe German Romantic architecture and in particular to distinguish the Romantic approach to the past from the eclecticism and revivalist movements that dominated Western architecture in the later 19th century. The term has also been used more loosely, however, to characterize the general interest in historical context evident in much 19th-century art and architecture, including eclectic and revivalist movements.
There were many reasons for this interest. By the second quarter of the 19th century many artists were questioning the almost tyrannical reign of Neo-classicism, with its implicit timelessness. Moreover, artists, and particularly architects, were increasingly equipped with a broad knowledge of examples from different periods and different cultures and with new technological possibilities. They were also in some cases faced with the requirement to design new building types (such as ...
(b Berwicks [now Borders Reg.], 1696; d Edinburgh, Dec 27, 1782).
Scottish philosopher, lawyer and judge. He wrote on a wide variety of topics including literary criticism, rhetoric, philosophy, law, natural history, education and agriculture. He played a significant role in the Enlightenment discussions of aesthetic feeling and judgement, especially the analysis of beauty and Sublime, the. His wide-ranging work also contributed to 18th-century debates about value and differences in the fine arts (see also Ut pictura poesis) and the development of taste. The Elements of Criticism (1762), his most famous work, deals with such topics as emotions and passions, beauty, grandeur, the sublime, novelty, narration and taste, and it was widely used as a textbook on criticism and rhetoric. While covering painting, sculpture, music, gardening and architecture, his views on the hierarchy of the fine arts led him to devote most of his attention to drama and the artistic use of language. The work as a whole investigates the ‘sensitive part’ of human nature....
(b Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Feb 9, 1795; d Karlsruhe, April 3, 1863).
German architect, architectural historian, theorist, writer and teacher. He was the son of a local postmaster and was educated in Darmstadt. In 1813 he entered the University of Heidelberg to read philosophy and mathematics. There he came under the influence of Friedrich Creuzer (1771–1858), a pioneer in the field of historiography and the empirical study of history; Hübsch later used Creuzer’s theories in his approach to architectural history. After only two years Hübsch decided to study architecture under Friedrich Weinbrenner in Karlsruhe, perhaps influenced to change direction by Georg Moller, whom he had met in Darmstadt. Hübsch stayed in Karlsruhe for two years and then between 1817 and 1820 made study trips to Italy, Greece and Constantinople. Throughout his life he continued to make similar journeys all over Europe, particularly to Italy, France and England. During 1823 and 1824 he again stayed in Rome, where he mixed with the German expatriate circles and particularly with the Nazarenes. In ...
(b Edinburgh, April 28, 1711; d Edinburgh, Aug 25, 1776).
Scottish philosopher and historian. Although he studied and became well known in France, he lived mostly in Edinburgh and is regarded as a leading figure in the Enlightenment in Scotland. His work was influential in the development of theories based on empirical knowledge, contributing in particular to 18th-century debates about beauty, taste and judgement. In his Treatise of Human Nature (1739, II.i.8), Hume held that beauty is a form, or structure of parts, that produces pleasure, and can be discerned only through the operation of a sense of beauty or a faculty of taste. His Essays Moral, Political and Literary address, among other topics, the cultural conditions of the production of art (‘Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Science’), the connection between art and morality (‘On Refinement in the Arts’), taste (‘Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion’) and also the technique and style of writing. The problem as to whether taste can be right or wrong, first raised in ...
(b Drumalig, Co. Down, Aug 8, 1694; d Dublin, Aug 8, 1746).
Irish philosopher. He attended the University of Glasgow, after which he headed a Presbyterian youth academy in Dublin for about a decade, and then held the chair of moral philosophy at Glasgow from 1730 until his death. He was best known as a moral sense theorist, and was heavily influenced by the theory of perception formulated by John Locke (1632–1704), as well as by the idea of a disinterested, moral sense conceived by Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury. His writings give a central role to sensation and feeling in their account of morality and aesthetic value, and as such constitute an important moment in the formation of Enlightenment views about the relation between emotion and rationality. Human nature, in Hutcheson’s theory, involves both such external senses as sight and hearing, and internal senses including the moral sense and those connected with beauty, harmony, grandeur (Sublime, the...