Three Gazes on Art

Since the Renaissance, the idea that art is the expression of beauty has become consecrated in Western culture. This assertion, though partly true, encapsulates some fundamental miscalculations, as what we call art –from our own historical perspective– has not always been related to a desire for beauty, nor is beauty’s unlimited mutuality sufficient to circumscribe the aesthetic experience. There is, perhaps, an innate tendency towards art in human beings that runs parallel to an aspiration for beauty, but this does not mean that the relationship between the artistic and the beautiful, always verified subjectively or, at most, from the relative taste of a determined time period or tradition, is less conflictive because of it. Let these gazes on art (rough, like a rapid succession of instant photographs) be understood like three journeys that revolve around this conflict and the mediating figure of the artist. This variation in the angle of vision will perhaps allow us to appreciate the different, and often antagonistic, «histories of art» that habitually dissolve in Art History.

Published by: ICARIA Editorial
Edition: First
Year: 1985