Aesthetics and Anti-Aesthetics in the Visual Arts

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8/12/2019 Aesthetics and Anti-Aesthetics in the Visual Arts 1/8 Aesthetics and Anti-Aesthetics in the Visual Arts Author(s): Paul Mattick, Jr. Source: The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 51, No. 2, Aesthetics: Past and Present. A Commemorative Issue Celebrating 50 Years of The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism and the American Society for Aesthetics (Spring, 1993), pp. 253-259 Published by: Wiley on behalf of The American Society for Aesthetics Stable URL: . Accessed: 01/02/2014 03:18 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .  . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]  . Wiley and The American Society for Aesthetics are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

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    Aesthetics and Anti-Aesthetics in the Visual Arts

    Author(s): Paul Mattick, Jr.Source: The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 51, No. 2, Aesthetics: Past andPresent. A Commemorative Issue Celebrating 50 Years of The Journal of Aesthetics and ArtCriticism and the American Society for Aesthetics (Spring, 1993), pp. 253-259Published by: Wileyon behalf of The American Society for AestheticsStable URL:

    Accessed: 01/02/2014 03:18

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at.

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of

    content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms

    of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]


    Wileyand The American Society for Aestheticsare collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend

    access to The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
  • 8/12/2019 Aesthetics and Anti-Aesthetics in the Visual Arts



    Aestheticsand Anti-Aesthetics n the VisualArts

    Barnett Newman's quip has become a classicone-liner on the irrelevance of aesthetics forartists: Aesthetics is for me like ornithologymustbe for the birds. Speaking n 1952 at theFourth Annual Woodstock Art Conference,sponsoredby theAmericanSociety for Aesthet-ics andtheWoodstockArtistsAssociation,New-mandeclared he very ideaof such a conferenceabsurd,sayingthathe considered theartistandtheaestheticiano be mutuallyexclusive terms.He wenton to attackaesthetics orwhathe calledits irresponsibilityn presuming o speakon artwith theauthority f philosophyor evenscience,while refusingto commit itself to the conflict ofvalues fundamental to the activity of artists.Moreover, said Newman, by assuming a de-tached, theoretical attitude the philosophicalaesthetician leavesthe field wide open for thepracticingaestheticians, the museum directorsand newspaper critics, who daily are makingdecisions and establishing and disestablishingvalues ... on the authority of theoretical aesthet-ics. ITheterms withwhich Newmandescribedthecentralconflict of artistic values in his time,as themoralstrugglebetweennotionsof beautyand the desire for sublimity, were themselvestaken romaestheticdiscourse. But the philoso-phy of art, as he saw it, had failed to involveitself in, or even grasp,the struggle of modernartiststo breakfrom the traditionof Europeanart, thusallowing criticism, basedon traditionalaesthetics,to play a destructiverole in the faceof theemergenceof new tendencies.If few Americanartistsof the last fifty yearshave expressedthemselves as strongly as New-manin opposition to the claims of aesthetics toprovidea basis for the understanding f art, thisis largelydue, it seems, to a lack of contact be-tweenthe two activitiesas deep as indicatedby

    Newman'sremarks.There havebeen individualartists of whom this is not strictly true, such asRobert Motherwell, who studied aesthetics atHarvard nd ateratColumbiawiththe art histo-rian Meyer Schapiro.And the manyartistswhoengagedwithSchapiroover themanydecadesofhis intimate nvolvement n the New Yorkscenewerecertainlyexposed to aesthetic deas throughconversationwith that remarkableman. Nev-ertheless, with the exception of John Dewey'sArt as Experienceof 1934, whichhada certaininfluence on a number of painters, includingThomas Hart Benton and his studentJacksonPollock,3 academic aesthetics has not been ofnoticeable interest to modern artists in theUnited States. As Newman suggests, artistshave been affected insteadby the practicalaes-thetics of critics, includingsomewhowerepoetsor artiststhemselves,and above all by the work(andconversation)of otherartists.In this, of course, the relationsbetween aes-thetics andthe actualpracticeof the arts can becompared to those between the philosophy ofscience and modern physics and mathematics.In the lattercase, centralfigures like Einsteinand Hilbert werethemselves well-versed n phi-losophy, but the problems with which philoso-phershave struggledarose out of developmentsin science itself (and havebeen happily ignoredbythevastmajorityof workingscientists). Simi-larly, f artistshave beenuninterested n aesthet-ics, contemporary philosophers of art havelargelyfound their problems-such as the placeof expression in art, the basis forjudgments oftaste, the nature of representation nd the rela-tion of art to nature, and, above all, the defini-tion of art-in thiscentury'sart.Justas twentieth-century hysics came to callinto question not only classical mechanics but

    The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism51:2 Spring 1993

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    254 The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticismalso fundamental ssumptionsabouttherelationbetween theory and experimentand the natureof empirical evidence, so various modern artmovements seemingly collided with the under-standing of art at the centerof the traditionofaesthetic heory. Stemming rom lateEnlighten-ment and Romanticcritical thought,this tradi-tion located the essence of art in propertiesofthe artistic object-its abilityto evoke an aes-thetic experience in the viewer, above all itssupposed intrinsicperceptual interest, whatBell called its possession of significantform.As the example of Bell suggests, the develop-ment of abstractart in the first decades of thetwentieth century,while clearly a challenge toartisticconvention, could be absorbedby aes-thetic theory without much difficulty. Stiffertests were posed by various anti-artmovements,by the readymade,by the Pop appropriation fbanal mages and insignificant orms, and bytheminimalist and conceptualist near-disappear-ance of the art object itself. Aesthetics came toseem to some artistsnotjust unresponsive o thestrugglesof theavant-garde utirrelevant o thenatureof art as such.Thus in 1963 Robert Morris accompaniedanew piecewitha notarizedStatementof EstheticWithdrawal:The undersigned ... being the maker of the metalconstructionentitled Litanies ... hereby withdrawsfrom aidconstructionll esthetic uality ndcontentanddeclares hat rom hedatehereof aidconstruc-tionhasno suchquality ndcontent.4The thought implicit in this declaration wasexpressed clearly by JosephKossuthin his textof 1969, Artafter Philosophy : It is neces-sary to separateaesthetics from art. Since artonce hadan importantdecorative unction, anybranchof philosophy that dealt with 'beauty'and thus, taste, was inevitably duty bound todiscuss art as well. Outof this 'habit'grew thenotion that there was a conceptual connectionbetweenart andaesthetics, which is not true. 'Once any objectchosen by an artist can be art,art is no longer aesthetic-that is, effectivethrough its perceptual properties-in nature.Accordingly, taste in the traditional senseloses its role to the newly invented art theory,which is increasinglythought of as constitutiveof art itself.

    As Thierry de Duve has drawn the conse-quencesof this development,whenanythingvisual can be called art ... [t]he sentence

    this is art is a convention. Historicalknowledgealoneis requiredo makeand udgeart, some intellec-tual curiosity or interestfor the logic of Modern-ism, some strategicdesire or interest o see it furtherextrapolated ndtested on mereinstitutional rounds.Art fadesinto arttheory. 6Indeed, the later 1960s saw the beginnings ofart heory as a critical and academicspecialtyclosely connectedto the artworld in a way thataesthetics was (and still is) not. Some philoso-phers of art did respondto artisticanti-aesthet-ics: the institutional heoryof art-representingan anti-aesthetic rendwithin aesthetics-madeits first appearancen 1964 in an article writtenby Arthur Danto under the influence of AndyWarhol'sStableGallery showof thatyear.7Within the Americanart world,however, hedivorce of art from aesthetics took much of itsconceptualshapenot in oppositionto academictheorizing but in reaction to the formalistcriticismof ClementGreenberg.Descending (asLawrence Alloway once pointed out) fromnineteenth-century estheticism, 8Greenberg'scriticism tied the idea of art'soppositionto thecommercialcultureof industrial apitalism o aninterpretation f aesthetic autonomy as the ex-plorationby each artistic mediumof its specificnature.Thusthe natureof painting,specifically,was reduced n his thinking o thepristineflat-ness of the stretched canvas. In this way theassertionof the value of the artwork n its ownright, and not just as a representation f somebeautiful or sublimereality,became a focus onthe expressive resourcesof themedium, not inorder to express ideas and notions, but to ex-press with greater immediacy sensations, theirreducible lements of experience.A domainof aisthesis was thereby set in op-positionto what Greenberg eferred o as liter-ature, or subject-matter. nvokingLessing as aprecursor, Greenberg insisted on the gulf be-tweenvisualartand anguage.Viewing he opac-ity of its medium as basic to visual art, whosecharacter exhausts tself in the visual sensationit produces, '0 in something like a reversalofLessing'sown contrastof languageand paintingGreenbergsaw language (outsideof modernist

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    Mattick Aesthetics and Anti-Aesthetics 255poetry) as transparent n relation to subject-matter. Concern with medium, as opposed tosubject,or even expression, had made abstrac-tion of supremeimportancein modern art, inwhichtheautonomy f the aesthetic husbecame,inpaintingat least, thesubstanceof artitself.The idea thatthe history of modern paintingcouldbe reduced o a systematic huntingdown(as Greenbergputit) of that art to its medium isnot a very plausibleone, althoughmore thanafew people seem to have believed it. Schapiroargued in 1939 that despite both appearancesand the beliefs of artists and critics, the pre-tended autonomy and absolutenessof the aes-thetic presentin its purestform in abstractionwas a myth. Here as elsewhere in art, he ob-served, formal construction s shapedby expe-rience and nonaesthetic concerns. IIThe ab-sence of literature n what Greenbergcalledmodernistpainting really meant not the lack ofreferenceother than to the formal conditionsofthe workitself, butjust the absenceof represen-tation(or denotation).Nonetheless, Greenberg'sconception, correspondingas it did to funda-mental features of the social field of artisticpractice, set the terms for enough critics andartistsof the 1960s to influenceartisticdevelop-ments since thattime.12Literature n Greenberg'ssense remainedabsent romMinimalism,which tended o restoretheemotionalismandsublimityof AbstractEx-pressionismbothby Greenbergian mphasis onsuch mattersas scale and thenatureof materialsandby a newattentiveness o physicaland socialcontext. Paradoxically enough, it remainedabsent also from Conceptualart in which lan-guage replaced imagery entirely. Joseph Kos-suth's account of Conceptualism s remarkablylike the formalismit so vociferously attacks, inits descriptionof artworksas analyticproposi-tions, providingno information bout he worldoutside art but asserting only that they areworks of art. Despite Kossuth'sinsistence thatConceptualismhad abandonedimagery for aform of philosophizing, and suchcritical claimsas BenjaminBuchloh'sscientisticcelebrationoftheprecisionwith whichthese artists analyzedtheplaceandfunctionof aestheticpracticewith-in the institutionsof Modernism, ideas aretypically present in this work, as in that donewith traditionalmediums, only as exemplified,illustrated,orsuggested. 3 Otherwise, indeed, a

    work like Hans Haacke's commentary on thesocio-economics f theLudwigcollection-whichassembles information about Ludwig's eco-nomic holdings, the treatmentof the workers nhis factories, and his collectingof modernart-would give up its art status for that of anunusually-presented it of arttheory. 4Hal Foster explains the expression anti-aes-thetic as signaling a practice, cross-disciplin-ary in nature,thatis sensitiveto culturalformsengagedina politic (e.g., feministart)or rootedin a vernacular-that is, to forms that deny theidea of a privilegedaesthetic realm. 5 In real-ity, however, even when text, or objects andprocesses taken from hitherto non-artcontexts,are substituted or the imageryand mediacen-tral to earlier art, the result tends to functioninstitutionally n much thesame wayas theworkof theavant-garde f thefirst halfof thecentury.According to MargaretIversen, the text- andphoto-basedfeministwork of artistslike MaryKelly and Cindy Shermanreflectsthe anti-aes-thetic lesson learnedfrom Minimalismthat artcan be deflated by being reduced to a thingin the world, undifferentiated rom other ob-jects. 16 In reality, such reduction makes thiskind of work unreadableas art by any publicother than that educated in advancedaesthetictheory.A good exampleis Kelly'sPost-PartumDocu-ment of 1973-1978, intended o speakto funda-mental mattersof life outside the world of art,specifically to women's experience of child-rearing.'7 In this as inher laterwork, Kelly de-scribes herpracticeas like thatof an indigenousethnographerof a community or, better, com-munitiesof women-observing, recording,andanalyzingherdata, yet withoutassuminga priv-ileged position. 8 Yet, as two sympathetic rit-ics wrote of the Document, the objects compos-ing it come acrossas disconnectedvisualcluesto someacademicdiscoursewhichdo little morethan expose the ignorance of the viewer. '9Even in championing his work Iversenhas per-ceptively compared t, forthe difficulty of imag-ery and explanatory documentationalike, toDuchamp'sLarge Glass.20In thiscase, as inmuch post-modernist rt,the relative inaccessibility of the work to non-specialist viewers is an index of the extent towhich art training, production, and receptionhave been absorbed by academic institutions.

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    256 The Journalof Aesthetics and Art CriticismBeyondthis, it only presentsin an exaggeratedway, and so makes visible, a featureof everyworkof art, thatits readabilitydependson mas-tery of the culturalcode utilized in its produc-tion.21 This is normallyunrecognizedby theed-ucatedviewer,for whom the learnedcodes havebecome a second nature.Oldernaturalistic rt-at thepresent ime, Impressionismwouldbe thecentralcase-may seem immediatelyaccessibleeven to the aesthetically uneducated, since itmakesuse of codes sharedwithculturallydomi-nant modes of representation.But even here afullercomprehension s availableonly to thoseaware of more esoteric (for example, histor-ically outmoded) modes of signification em-ployedin such art. A contemporary ase is Bar-baraKruger'swork, which-thanks to its use ofimagery andverbal forms borrowedfrommasscommunications-is fairly accessible to a gen-eralpublic,while revealing urthercomplexitiesto thoseable to set it conceptuallywithin its art-worldcontext.To a greatextent, it is worthnoting,theartcel-ebrated under the rubric of the anti-aestheticshares formal features with art of the earlieravant-garde,in particularwith dada and sur-realism n its use of text, photography, nd styl-ishly ordered uxtapositions of images and ob-jects. As HaroldRosenbergobserved n relationto the artepovera of the 1960s, Denying allaesthetic aims in a work permits the artist todrawfreelyon theentireaestheticvocabularyofmodernart. Theearthworks,materialarts,andconceptualpieces he wasdiscussing arestrungon a line that meanders romDuchampand Fu-turismthroughDada, Surrealism,Actionpaint-ing, Pop, Minimalism, and MathematicalAb-straction. 22Again, despitethe lip service paidin recent times to mass culture, video art typ-ically has little of the vernacularcharacteroftelevision, and indeed (to use Max Kozloff'sexpression)forthe mostpartfunctions n galler-ies and museumshowsas crypto-paintingandsculpture). 23Moreimportant o thisdiscussion is the pres-ervationby anti-aesthetic work of the funda-mental eatureof theaestheticexperience of art,which has to do not with perceptualexperiencedirectlybut with the social distinctivenesscon-ferredon perceptionby the art context. The il-lusionthataestheticexperience s anunmediatedapprehension f a workdependspreciselyon the

    unconsciousness with which the codes neces-sary for that apprehension are activated. Actu-ally, to quote Pierre Bourdieu:The perceptionof the work of art in a trulyaestheticmanner, that is to say as a signifier which signifiesnothing other than itself, does not consist, as issometimes said, of considering it withoutconnect-ing it with anything other than itself, either emo-tionally or intellectually, n shortof giving oneselfup to the work apprehended n its irreduciblesin-gularity, butof notingits distinctivestylistic eaturesby relating it to the whole of the works formingtheclass to which it belongs, and tothese worksonly. 4To do this is to classify it as a work of art. It is bybeing set into relation to the field of art thatanti-aesthetic art, like earlier art, has its so-cial significance. Although by different means,it seeks like the art of the past to provide an ex-perience serving the exercise of a sensibilitymomentarily freed from engagement in the dailybusiness of life, and thus emblematic at once ofthe privilege signified by such freedom and of theart lover's worthiness to enjoy it. (It is, of course,just the distance from the demands of life experi-enced even in the representation of those de-mands, say by documentary photography or ex-plicitly political art, that is signified by the conceptof the aesthetic.)This explains the paradox of anti-art noted byBourdieu, thatnothingmore clearly reveals he logic of the function-ing of the artistic field thanthe fate of these appar-ently radicalattemptsatsubversion.Becausetheyex-pose the art of artistic creationto a mockery alreadyannexed to the artistic traditionby Duchamp, theyare immediatelyconverted into artistic acts, re-cordedas such and thusconsecratedandcelebratedbythe makersof taste. Art cannot revealthe truthaboutart without snatchingit away again by turning therevelation nto an artisticevent.25Perhaps among artists Andy Warhol understoodthis best; at any rate he made use of it as the basisfor his artistic career. Once art was separatedfrom aesthetics as traditionally understood, hesaw, it could be treated as simply another mar-keting category. Thus Warhol could combine hisgenuine appreciation of the aesthetics of com-mercial design with the description of art as

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    Mattick Aesthetics and Anti-Aesthetics 257just another ob, while preserving the defi-nitionof art in terms of autonomy: An artistis somebody who produces things that peopledon't need to have but that he-for some rea-

    son-thinks it would be a good idea to givethem. 26The pointof the celebratedBrillo boxes, forexample, is not so muchthe art-theoreticaldif-ference as the more than visual similarity ofartworkand originalcarton. This draws atten-tion to thefactthat he latter s alreadya productof the designer's craft, while Warhol'sboxes,knocked off in large numbers in imitationoftheir models, unlike traditionaltrompe l'oeilrepresentationsof common objects make noclaim to elevationof the commonplaceby artis-tic skill orvision. Theycan be sold as artsimplybecause, assembledby hand n theWarholwork-shopforgallery sale, theybeartheWarholbrandname, which makespossible the detachmentofthe Brillologo from its originalconnectionwitha differentproduct o demonstrate he centralityof suchsignsto ourvisuallives. Bothuses of thesign functionas packaging:If the one advertisesscouringpads,the otherbothadvertises he War-hol personaand offers access to its glow. Andyet as such it operateswithin the artistic fieldso successfully as to provide a formal basisfor further anti-aesthetic art, such as AdamRolston's 1992 New Yorkexhibition of condomboxes.Thephilosophical reatment f Warhol'sworkas revealingthe theoretical(or institutional,analyzed n an abstractandahistoricalway) na-tureof art is an analoguein aesthetictheory tothe self-cancellationof anti-artnoted by Bour-dieu.27It representson the analytic level thesameprocedureas thatby whichthegallery andmuseumin folding the readymadewithin theirembraceremovedthe sting of its challenge toearlierconceptionsof art. That is, it obscuresthe turning point in the history of the mod-ern practice of the fine arts signaled by theattemptto producea radicaldisjunctureof artandaesthetics.StevenGoldsmithhasmade a similarpoint, ina discussionof institutional efinitionsof art,by remarking hat the attempt to define any-thing is by nature a conservative activity. 28Howevertrue this may be of our own time, itdoes nothold forearlierperiodsin the history ofWesternart. In the fifteenth and sixteenth cen-

    turies,artistsmadeuse of an oldconcept,thatofthe liberal as opposedto mechanical ) rts,in a novel way when they applied it to them-selves, thus claiming higher status for them-selves and their work than that of the manualcrafts with which they had earlierbeen classed.In the latereighteenth century, art was furtherredefined, this time as the exercise of creativegenius in independenceof other social func-tions. In this definition,which laid the founda-tions for the field of art as we still understandt,writers now classified as aestheticiansplayedanimportantand innovativerole, not so much de-scribing a practice as helping to establish theconditions for its existence.29The present-dayconservatism of philosophicalaesthetics (suchas thatto which Newmanobjectedbecauseof itsdetachment rom the struggleoverquestionsofaestheticlegitimacyand significancethat takesplace in the artworld)is itself a symptomof theongoing transformationof the practice of artsignaledalso by the rise of the anti-aesthetic.Art, once securely positionedas the highestsecular religionof modernsociety-higher thanscience, for all practicalpurposes,because it isboth more accessible to the nonspecialistandfreerof thetaintof commercialutility-has nowbecome an areaof confusion and contestation.The taking up of this field of production andconsumption, and in particularof the avant-gardearea withinit, by institutionsof state andacademy,togetherwiththe enormousandrapidexpansion f themarketorart,havedonemuch oerodetheearlierconceptionof artas foundedonthetranscendencef socialparticularity chievedby the heroic, creative individual.In addition,we shouldnot forget the effects in thisdomainofthe social transformationshat gave rise to thecontestatorymovementsof the 1960s and after,which fostered an extensionof the criticality ofavant-garde rt to the institutionalandideologi-cal settingof artisticpractice as well as to theartworkproper.Totake aparticularly mportantexample, Hal Foster is certainly not wrong, de-spitetheweb of mystificationsnwhich he wrapsthe matter,to point to feminism as powerfullyproductiveof critiquesof aestheticorthodoxy.At the sametime, the importanceof the roleof the practice of art in the development ofmodernsociety, visible intheuse of the museumand concert-hallas reliquariesfor the materialembodimentsof its higherself, means that it

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    258 The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticismremainswith us despite the evermore apparentincoherence of its conceptual structure. As aresult of this practice's continuing life, evenattempts o question basic elements of aestheticideology can function in the struggle for art-world legitimacy and commercial success. Forexample, the success of post-modern criticsand artists ndefining feministart in terms oftheuse of non-traditionalmediahasmadepossi-ble the creation of an artistic (and marketing)niche for critical women's work, while alsolargely acceptingas an incontestablegiven thecenturies-old definition of painting-still thecore (andhighestpriced)commodityof the artbusiness-as masculine, despite the activity offeminist painters.In this situationaesthetics, based not on theuse of such ahistoricalconcepts as aestheticexperience but on the analysisof art as a cul-turalphenomenon,could have a useful role toplay, in helping to understand he nature anddynamicsof theartisticfield atthepresent ime.Thiswouldrequirea shiftof methods romthosein generaluse, in particulara more serious en-gagementwith thehistoricalspecifics of art. Asthe editors of a recentcollection of essays striv-ing to pass beyondtraditionalaesthetics havewritten, in wordsechoing at a distanceBarnettNewman'scomplaint,Philosophy, which had sought to remainabove thecriticalinterpretation f individualworks, insofarasit had soughtto provide a universal concept of aes-thetic experience, is compelled to descend to theirlevel to clarify and assess the claims about art thattheyembody.Philosophyandcriticism become inex-tricablyintertwined,and both become bound to arthistory.0

    Artists, unlikebirds in the wild, areengagedin a culturalandthereforehistorically evolvingactivity. For this reason aesthetics is actuallyquite unlike ornithology. The birds do not, forexample, question heconceptsevolved by theo-riststo describe theiractivities. The rise of art-worldanti-aesthetics ets a valuableexample forphilosophers of art, suggesting the need for acritical engagementwith the assumptions, andso withthehistory,of aesthetics tself.

    1. Barnett Newman, Selected Writingsand Interviews,ed. J. P.O'Neill (New York:Knopf, 1990), pp. 304, 242-3.

    2. Ibid., p. 171.3. See StewartBuettner, JohnDewey and the VisualArtsin America, TheJournalof AestheticsandArt Criticism33(1975): 383-391.4. Quoted n HaroldRosenberg,TheDe-definitionofArt(New York:Horizon, 1972), p. 28.5. Joseph Kossuth, Art After Philosophy I, StudioInternational October1969), inIdeaArt, ed. GregoryBatt-cock (New York:Dutton, 1973), p. 76.6. Thierry de Duve, The Monochromeand the BlankCanvas, in ReconstructingModernism,ed. SergeGuilbaut(MITPress, 1990), p. 272.7. ArthurDanto, TheArtworld, Journalof Philosophy61:19 (1964): 571-584.8. LawrenceAlloway, Systemic Painting in MinimalArt, ed. G. Battcock New York:Dutton, 1968), p. 51.9. ClementGreenberg, Towards NewerLaocoon 1940),CollectedEssaysand Criticism,vol. I, p. 36.10. Ibid., p. 34.

    11. Meyer Schapiro, Natureof AbstractArt, ModernArt. 19th and 20th Centuries(New York:Braziller,1978),pp. 185, 196.12. I take this useful concept from the writingof PierreBourdieu, who defines a field of culturalproductionas asystemof relationsbetweena setof agents and institutions-in the case of the art system, these would includeparticu-larly artists, dealers, critics, collectors, art magazines,museums, and lovers of art-and so as the site of thestruggles for the monopoly of the power to consecrateworksas culturallyvaluable, inwhich thevalue of worksofart and belief in that value are continuously generated( TheProductionof Belief: Contribution o an EconomyofSymbolicGoods, inMedia,Culture ndSociety.A CriticalReader,eds. Collins,et al. [London:Sage, 1986], p. 135.)13. BenjaminH. D. Buchloh, Allegorical Procedures:Appropriationand Montage in ContemporaryArt, Art-forum 21 (1982), p. 48; italicsmine.14. As Greenberg xplained, nmodernism heartshadtodemonstrate that he kindof experiencethey providedwasvaluable in its own right and not to be obtainedfrom anyotherkind of activity ( ModernistPainting, n TheNewArt,ed. G. Battcock[New York:Dutton, 1966], p. 102).15. Hal Foster, Postmodernism: A Preface, in TheAnti-Aesthetic,ed. H. Foster (Seattle: Bay Press, 1983),p. xv.16. M. Iversen, TheDeflationary mpulse, n ThinkingArt: Beyond TraditionalAesthetics, eds. Benjamin andP.Osborne(London:Instituteof ContemporaryArt, 1991),p. 85.17. For a presentationof this work in book form, seeMary Kelly, Post-PartumDocument (London: RoutledgeandKeganPaul, 1983).18. Iversen, TheDeflationaryImpulse, p. 92.19. MargotWaddellandMicheleneWandor, MystifyingTheory, in Visibly Female, ed. Hilary Robinson (NewYork:Universe, 1988), p. 103.20. MargaretIversen, The bride strippedbare by herown desire: readingMary Kelly'sPost-PartumDocument[1981], in M. Kelly,Post-PartumDocument,p. 206.21. See, for a concise presentation f this point, P. Bour-dieu, Outlineof a Sociological Theory of Art Perception,inInternationalSocial ScienceJournal20 (1968): 589-612.22. H. Rosenberg, TheDe-definitionofArt, p. 36.

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    Mattick Aestheticsand Anti-Aesthetics 25923. Max Kozloff, Paintingand Anti-Painting:A FamilyQuarrel, ArtforumSeptember1975), p. 42.24. P. Bourdieu, Outline, p. 596.25. Bourdieu, TheProductionof Belief, p. 136.26. Andy Warhol,The Philosophy of Andy Warhol New

    York:Harvest/HBJ,1977), pp. 178, 144.27. Notablyby A. Danto, The Artworld.28. Steven Goldsmith, The Readymades of Marcel

    Duchamp: The Ambiguities of an Aesthetic Revolution,The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 42 (1983),p. 197.29. See the essays collected in Eighteenth-CenturyAes-thetics and the Reconstruction f Art, ed. Paul Mattick,Jr.(CambridgeUniversityPress, 1993).30. A. Benjaminand P. Osborne, ThinkingArt:BeyondTraditionalAesthetics,p. xi.

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