Philosophy: Existential Aesthetics of Art Criticism




At root, the existentialist aesthetic art critic is bound and limited by the measure of what should be an established and fluently comprehensive, esoteric and recondite reference spectrum enabling responsiveness to artistic primary signifiers with sensitivity to both nuanced and pronounced artistic expressiveness through the symbol; “a turbulent grey sea implies an oceanic storm.” 


Building upon a necessary incorporation of elemental substantive compositional indicators, dimension, for example, a critical exegesis begins for the critic grounded in logic based on merited utility via analytical patterns of deduction of meaning granting understanding of purpose; “the cave painting were largely a spiritual practice for example the head gear they wore was the animal that brought them so much life to whom the venerated in a way mystical.” 


Further, authentic and astute investigation is subject to distinctive formulaic recognition of historic, ideological, and contemporary contexts affective to characteristic artistic methodology based on comprehensibility; “Although Manet’s subject of Olympia has been a formidable topic for 150 years, the theatrical qualities of the scene with hanging curtain, props, an awkward servant, an Olympia whose gaze may not be subversive but self conscious after being painted in the nude by a man for so long, and the objet she wares being just enough to convey her role, this possibility is hardly touched.” 


Essential is artistic methodology specific to the vitality of unique aesthetic relationships of meaning between art and artist via art.  “The color of van Gogh has always been his driving force and in so many compositions extant none are not replete with loaded color.  The question arises that as Vincent so passionately applied this color, were his intentions for that color specific or did he, in a post-Modern sense, intend the viewer to play a part in the process.  The “Sunflowers” each have a flower with a slightly different tonality and hue.  One stands erect and bright that may represent vitality or even fecundity while the drooping flower is more of a gray and may imply a distance from a beloved brother or even a death.  It is known that Vincent used many of his colors purposefully as symbolic, but how they are to be read is much of the enchantment of his legend”   


The characteristic artistic methodology is thus subject to historical, ideological and contemporary contexts that by varying degrees relate to viewer responsiveness.  Such existential aesthetics are conditional to relational dynamics orienting viewer responsiveness to engage in liberal channels of meaningful sensory experience   This vehicle of meaning is artistically oriented to engage viewer sensibilities; cognitive, emotive, spiritual, contemplative, visceral, imaginative, sensitive, inquisitive; the resultant artistic profundity is dependant on viewer responsiveness.  “A self-portrait by Courbet astonishes, mesmerizes, baffles, and frightens.  Why it is that Courbet painted this portrait one cannot be sure, but only in the images of the mentally ill by Delecroix has an image dared to bring the face so close, the hands pulling the hair back in a frenzy, the eyes, most of all, are the eyes of one mentally ill as they widely seize the eyes of a viewer who is caught unprepared in a moment uncomfortably emotive, intensively evocative, and disturbing to the imagination.  For another this image might catch the eye with heightened amazement and confoundedness as the viewer is also confounded and feels the passion in a moment seen as frenzied with passion, is caught somewhere in the depths of the soul between the painting and the viewer, and utterly lost is the sheer magnificence of the sublime beauty in this unforgettably sublimely beautiful painting.” 


The existentialist art critic places much objective evaluation on levels of meaning articulated through responsiveness, but does not judge as such, only a painting with greater depth has more for discussion, a weaker has little to say.  In this analysis the Cave paintings would be given casual consideration for novelty and the origins and the nature of primeval humanity towards the spiritual, the Manet great interest in the new conceptual possibility that is a groundbreaking concept for Realism and also gives new meaning to “Dejournet sur le Herb,” the van Gogh given a lengthy discussion od meaning in art and how the symbol, be it color, iconography, a portrait or a pair of eyes in that portrait, a boat, a sea, a field of corn or a starry night, is created in with a renewed awareness of color and the multitudinous meanings implied, while the paintings themselves only bear immeasurably greater weight.  The Courbet might be the most provocative causing an immediate response that is evident and immediate and reaches to so many areas of the sensibilities such a fear, confusion, shock, adoration, longing, astonishment, contemplation, and sublimity.    


Demanded of the existential art critic is original deductive investigation, original frames of reference, original analytical exegesis as well as a command of historic, ideological and contemporary contexts.  Ultimately engendered is comprehensive expository abundance with sure reasoning for works of contextually derivative meanings of purpose as related symbolically through expression in art relevant to core viewer subjectivity, thus elucidated by the existentialist art critic.




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