The End of Art: A Comparative Analysis of French Postmodern Art Theorists

By Marie-Thérèse Killiam.

Published by The Arts in Society, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing

Format Price
Book: Print $US40.00
Book: Electronic $US15.00

The book studies the demystification of art in the 20th century by a variety of contemporary French authors, from sociologists to philosophers, who commented on the meaning and function of art. Most of these writers who are famous in their own disciplines for their innovative ideas, share an interest in art criticism, which channels their particular philosophies and esthetic interests. Postmodern theorists like Duve and Bourdieu see art as social posturing and a manifestation of cultural fetishism in this age of the "n'importe quoi." Mathematician philosopher Michel Serres and psychoanalyst semiotician Kristeva share an interest in similar Renaissance paintings. All postmodern writers who choose to comment on art turn to masters of past time, who illustrate best their personal esthetics. This choice also reveals their indifference, if not aversion, for contemporary art, in which most see and deplore the death of art, culture, and history today. Such reluctance at looking at the contemporary esthetic expressions of the human condition also explains their own similar stylistic expression, which is frequently morose in character, and often apocalyptic in tone and content.

Keywords: Art criticism, France-History-20th century, Art Philosophy, Postmodern Art Theorists

Book: Print (Paperback). Book: Electronic (PDF File; 771.940KB). Published by The Arts in Society, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing.

Dr. Marie-Thérèse Killiam

Professor of French, Modern Languages and Literatures, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA, USA

I received a Licence in English in Nice, France and a master's degree in American Civilization in 1975 from the same university. I received my PH.D in French at Columbia University in 1987. My readers were Profs. Riffaterre and Compagnon. I have taught at Columbia and Barnard College until 1988. I have been teaching at Sweet Briar College since 1989.I am a full Professor. Books published: The art criticism of Paul Claudel and L'analyse du texte. I am working on a book on French postmodern art criticism. I received a fullbright scholarship in 1977 and taught at Mount Holyoke College.


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