The Philosophy of Art Exploring the Emotional Expression Theory By Lyndzie Taylor, Danielle Lavoie, Damale Kifuko and Sarineh Hossepian
Why do we need a criteria for judging art?
Otherwise everything would be considered the same
To obtain a better understanding of art and its purpose
To distinguish good art from bad art
Art is the objectification of feeling. -S. Langer
Art as an Expression of Emotion The purpose of art is for the artist to express an emotion, and in turn, evoke emotion in its audience. Through artistic expression, we can tap into a deeper understanding of life, reality, etc.
How does the emotion theory work? Art expresses emotions and illuminates life. A good artist succeeds at expressing emotion through their work, as well as communicating emotion for the audience to experience. A bad work of art fails to execute these things successfully.
Why is this theory sufficient for evaluating art?
Art is creative, and requires the artist to have “intuitive knowledge” which comes from the imagination.
Philosopher Benedetto Croce said, “the spirit only intuits in making, forming, expressing. He who separates intuition from expression never succeeds in reuniting them.”
What about other theories?
Good art does not always imitate life or follow form, nor does the artworld always agree on which works are good or bad.
More often, the artist has a feeling behind his or her work of art that they are expressing and attempting to convey to their audience.
Failed Attempt: “ Convergence” by Jackson Pollock
Though Pollock may have had an emotion while we was painting this piece, it is unclear to the audience.
The image itself doesn’t give any emotional clues.
It fails to show the viewer a deeper, more meaningful reality.
Successful Attempt: “ Saturn Devouring One of His Children” By Francisco De Goya
From the way "Saturn" is positioned in the painting, hands clenched and eyes wide open, insanity is distinctively what Goya is trying to portray.
This painting clearly draws out fear from its audience and represents emotion.
It falls under no other category of the judgment system besides "Emotional Art".
In Conclusion Our successful piece clearly describes an emotional scene, whereas our failure is vague and unfocused. Considering the artwork we chose, judging art based on the Expression Theory is most efficient. Everyone views art differently, so what is most important is what the artist feels and conveys to the audience.