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The Truth About Art: Reclaiming Quality

Patrick Doorly
Zone Books
Artists' Books
20 × 25.4 × 1 cm

‘Both knowledge and truth are beautiful things, but the Good is other and more beautiful than they.’ — Plato, Republic, 508e. This book traces the multiple meanings of art back to their historical roots, and equips the reader to choose between them. Art with a capital A turns out to be an invention of German Romantic philosophers, who endowed their creation with the attributes of genius, originality, rule breaking, and self-expression, directed by the spirit of the age. Recovering the problems that these attributes were devised to solve dispels many of the obscurities and contradictions that accompany them. What artists have always sought is excellence, and they become artists in so far as they achieve it. Quality was the supreme value in Renaissance Italy, and in early Greece it offered mortals glimpses of the divine. Today art historians avoid references to beauty or Quality, since neither is objective or definable, the boundaries beyond which scholars dare not roam. In reality subject and object are united and dissolved in the Quality event, which forms the bow wave of culture, leaving patterns of value and meaning in its wake.

  1. The Truth About Art: Reclaiming Quality

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