How does one tell the history of an art form? Looking at classic examples like Gombrich's The Story of Art (London, Phaidon Press, 1950) or Read's A Concise History of Modern Painting (London, Thames and Hudson, 1959), it seems that, at their core, such projects conventionally consist of annotated lists: extended commentaries on a long line of works and artists, in other words a canon. These works are typically presented as peaks of the aesthetic power of the art form in question, as ultimate manifestations of aesthetic perfection, complexity of form and depth of expression which humans are capable of reaching through this art form. Such presentations hide an implicit promise that, with proper knowledge, encounters with these works will result in extraordinary experiences.
|Original language||American English|
|Issue number||1 (Special Issue on Canonisation)|
|State||Published - 2006|