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Theory of art (Unification Thought)

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In this section of Unification Thought a theory of art is considered. Culture defines the totality of human activities and Art is placed at the center of these cultural activities as the essence of such proceedings. However, the theory of art also reveals concerns over tendencies towards decadent expressions of what might otherwise be ideals; these serving humanity in a positive, ethical and affirmative way. World culture may therefore face a serious crises if this negative tendency persists. Accordingly, it is reasoned, a new culture and a true art movement might be both advantageous and relevant for our times.

Through human history the arts have frequently played a leading role in bringing about change. The Renaissance period is a clear example of this, where the arts heralded a systemic change in this cultural epoch. Yet, art supplied a more questionable contribution to the Russian Revolution, thus in the revolutionary period the arts formed as a style known as Social Realism. This throws in to question, what the term art, might mean. For the most part, Social Realism became the instrument of a materialistic dialectic, serving the state rather than a principle of inspirational and autonomous creativity.


The function and the purpose of the arts are therefore examined here in this light and a counterproposal to social realism is presented. Believing the future will more and more, move towards a profound and universal expression of the arts, it is more pressing than ever to present a new theory of art from the viewpoint of transcendent and immanent perspectives; something Unification Thought suggests, belongs to a philosophy of religion rather than a state orchestrated doctrine.

For a full text go to: http://www.unification-thought.org/neut/Neut07.html

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Theory of art (Unification Thought)

  1. 1. a theory of art 2014 derek dey
  2. 2. a theory of art: index • Theory of Art (Unification Thought) I. The Divine Principle Foundation for the New Theory of Art II. Art and Beauty III. The Dual Purpose of Artistic Activity: Creation and Appreciation IV. Requisites for Artistic Appreciation V. Technique, Materials, and Style in Artistic Creation VI. Requisites for Artistic Appreciation VII.Unity in Art VIII.Art and Ethics IX. Types of Beauty X. A Critique and Counterproposal to Socialist Realism full text here: http://www.unification-thought.org/neut/Neut07.html above: dance / universe / yayoi kusama / robyn denny / dance studio / sound bar cover: stephen knapp / universe / frank stella / roberto matta / sam francis / orange lily 2
  3. 3. a theory of art • purpose • celebration • creativity - two stage structure • Logos as a plan • method paul klee 3
  4. 4. art and beauty • art and joy / resemblance / complementarity 4
  5. 5. what is beauty ? • emotional force • determination of beauty • elements of beauty 5
  6. 6. dual purposes of artistic activity • creation < and > • appreciation frank stella / richard serra / sam francis / david hockney 6
  7. 7. requisites for artistic creation • motif (purpose) • theme • conception rodin-thinker maitreya bodhisatva > < 7 for the subject
  8. 8. object consciousness • joy to God • joy for others • express goodness • promote hope in the future • express beauty / mystery 8
  9. 9. object consciousness (renaissance) michelangelo raphael leonardo 9
  10. 10. individuality beethoven / mahler / schubert beatles whitney houston richie havens 10
  11. 11. requisite for the object • art reflects the artists Sungsang • components reflect harmony • golden section / mean • beauty / proportion euclid: golden section euclid / proportion / parthenon / vitruvius / pyramids / chartre 11
  12. 12. technique, materials, style in artistic creation (preamble) heart: inner SS-HS purpose / logos universal two stage structure technique / material 12
  13. 13. technique material style (example) dynamic material work isamu noguchi motif purpose purpose heart inner >>> outer conception medium work of art subject matter heart motif 13 heart SS HS union SS HS union new being phenomenology creativity SS - sungsang HS - hyungsang
  14. 14. various styles • idealism raphael-idealism 14
  15. 15. various styles • classicism jean-auguste ingres / goethe (faust) / jacques-louis david 15
  16. 16. various styles • romanticism Margaret Drabble: in literature, romanticism takes place "roughly between 1770 and 1848” lord byron / victor hugo (les miserables) / theodore gericault / emanuel leutze 16
  17. 17. various styles • realism jean-francois millet / jean-baptiste-camille corot / gustave courbet / gustave flaubert / emile zola 17
  18. 18. various styles • symbolism arthur rimbaud / verlaine and the bloomsbury group symbolist art: gustave klimt / edward burne-jones 18
  19. 19. various styles • impressionism claude monet / edgar degas / pierre-auguste renoir / berthe morisot 19
  20. 20. various styles • cubism jean metzinger / georges braque / albert gleizes / paul cezanne / pablo picasso 20
  21. 21. various styles • unificationism idealism<>realism (heart / hope / individuality) author’s work / new york city symphony orchestra / little angels / universal ballet / sun hwa arts school / kirov academy of ballet 21
  22. 22. requisites for artistic appreciation • appreciation for art • clear mind • broad interest philosophy history psychology etc • empathy for internal-external qualities paintings: rogier van der weyden and phillip otto runge 22
  23. 23. requisites for the object in appreciation • harmony of elements • appreciators resemblance to works • appropriate environment for works johannes vermeer / henry moore 23
  24. 24. judgement of beauty • value emerges from the co-relative relationship • beauty is determined by the appreciator and the requisites • beauty + emotional function of appreciator = beauty (beauty does not exist objectively) • aesthetic judgement <> cognitive judgement work together purpose sense content subject object beauty(E) cognition(I) I E W Prototype I-intellect E-emotion W-will aesthetic judgement and cognitive judgement 24
  25. 25. unity in art pairs of correlative aspects (elements) involved in artistic activities, including creation and appreciation, content and form, universality and individuality, and eternity and temporality are synthesized. creation and appreciation content and form universality and individuality eternity and temporality motif theme conception <> form materials leonardo da vinci / paul cezzane / buddha / vitruvian man / jean-francois millet 25
  26. 26. unity in art: fallingwater - an architectural example Frank Lloyd Wright used circle square triangle and harmony in his work / the client contemplates this waterfall from a rock - the architect builds here with the rock appearing through the floor at the hearth / the waterfall and rock layers are repeated in the architectural form / the sound of the waterfall and the rock are retained for the client 26
  27. 27. art and ethics • ethics predicated on a true self • the artist as a mature self - individuated • Oscar Wilde / Lord Byron / Leo Tolstoy 27
  28. 28. types of beauty types of beauty from the perspective of unification thought - love and beauty categories predicated to love • husband • wife • children (brothers and sisters) thomas gainsborough / nathaniel dance / johannes vermeer / john everett millais / lord leighton 28
  29. 29. categories • Fatherly beauty : strict beauty, magnanimous beauty, broad beauty, solemn beauty, profound beauty, awesome beauty, etc. • Motherly beauty : graceful beauty, noble beauty, warm-hearted beauty, delicate beauty, gentle beauty, passionate beauty, etc. • Husband’s beauty : masculine beauty, active beauty, trustworthy beauty, courageous beauty, resolute beauty, brave beauty, prudent beauty, etc. • Wife’s beauty : feminine beauty, passive beauty, supportive beauty, obedient beauty, calm beauty, tender beauty, cheerful beauty, reserved beauty, etc. • Son’s beauty : filial beauty, obedient beauty, dependent beauty, youthful beauty, comical beauty, cute beauty, all of which have boyish characteristics, etc. • Daughter’s beauty : filial beauty, obedient beauty, dependent beauty, youthful beauty, comical beauty, cute beauty, all of which have girlish characteristics, etc. 29
  30. 30. traditional types of beauty grace “grazie” sublime “erabenheit” Kant: beauty has components of free beauty (anhängende Schönhei) / other categories are: dependent beauty / pure beauty (Reinschöne) / tragic beauty (Tragische) / comical beauty (Komische) NB beauty can be traced to Platonic ideas though this is not grace per se (Eros - The Symposium) / Sublime is first mentioned by Longinus (Gk) then Edmund Burke 1757 / Kant discusses the sublime in the Critique of Judgement 1790 30
  31. 31. father - sublime jmw turner / albert bierstadt / caspar david friedrich / gabriel dawe / mark rothko / edwin church 31
  32. 32. mother - beauty peder kroyer / henry holiday / teri gileki / zaha hadid (architect) / zou chuan / helen frankenthaler / olga boznańska / botticelli 32
  33. 33. children children’s art - anonymous / warner bros / disney / pixar 33
  34. 34. traditional types of beauty Longinus 1st C - Edmund Burke 1756 - Imanuel Kant 1764-90 grace / free beauty / dependent beauty / pure beauty / tragic beauty / such terms of ambiguity are replaced by more definite types of love thomas cole / caspar david friedrich / edwin church / jmw turner / egyptian / polykleitos / sandro botticelli / leonardo da vinci 34
  35. 35. critique / a counterproposal to socialist realism Gorky: art as a midwife to socialism / a gravedigger to capitalism Stalin: art as themes of reform / revolution nikolay bogdanov-belsky (gorky) / aleksander gerasimov (stalin and vorshilov) / unknown (n-korea ) / fyodor shurpin (stalin) 35
  36. 36. critiques of socialist realism Lenin Stalin / art - literature must belong to the party Mao Ze-Dong / Herbert Read / Ilya Ehrenburg “What is described in a book depicting weaving women in a spinning mill is not a human being but a machine, and not human feelings but merely the process of production.” - Ehrenburg Yohan Cho socialist realism: such writing could never express a person’s internal world. liu chunhua / chinese poster / herbert read / ilya ehrenberg 36
  37. 37. indictment of communism by notable writers Andre Gide: “In the U.S.S.R. everybody knows beforehand, once and for all, that on any and every subject there can be only one opinion.... So that every time you talk to one Russian you feel as if you were talking to them all.” Boris Pasternak: Dr Zhivago revolution or a philosophy of love Alexandr Solzhenitsyn: “It is the artist who realizes that there is a supreme force above him and works gladly away as a small apprentice under God's heaven.” 37
  38. 38. errors in the communist theory of art social realism: a failure to create beauty / joy denial of God /enforced arbitrary standards love beauty and natural ethics Vs enforced conformity art is not part of the superstructure / not a servant of an economic theory Marx floundered: Greek culture should disappear - yet it remains relevant Gorky’s “Mother” promoted violent revolution Vs Tolstoy’s internal revolution social evils are not welcome by anyone / however internal reform is UT: reformation comes from a correct understanding of God and self - it seeks an original ideal and an original self fully individuated 38
  39. 39. the end 39

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