But Is It Art?

But Is It Art? : An Introduction to Art Theory

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In today's art world many strange, even shocking, things qualify as art. In this book, Cynthia Freeland explains why innovation and controversy are valued in the arts, weaving together philosophy and art theory with many fascinating examples. She discusses blood, beauty, culture, money, museums, sex, and politics, clarifying contemporary and historical accounts of the nature, function, and interpretation of the arts. Freeland also propels us into the future by surveying cutting-edge web sites, along with the latest research on the brain's role in perceiving art. This clear, provocative book engages with the big debates surrounding our responses to art and is an invaluable introduction to anyone interested in thinking about art.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 254 pages
  • 119.38 x 167.64 x 17.78mm | 249.47g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8 pp. colour plates, 24 halftones
  • 0192853678
  • 9780192853677
  • 58,226

Review quote

. a book of simplicity and clarity that may well come to rival John Berger's Ways of Seeing as a reader's digest of the rubric of theories that make up contemporary art criticism . . . This is a valuable book for anyone perplexed by the arcane theorising of contemporary art * Sue Hubbard, The Independent 14/03/01 * admirable for its scope, compactness and exceptional clarity. Reader-friendly and thought-provoking * The Independent, 23/02/2002 * this is a pacy and readable introduction to art history * Independent on Sunday 10/03/2002 * This pocket potboiler provides some answers, a lot of questions and plenty of entertainment along the way * TNT Magazine 25/03/2002 * Review from previous edition So many of the questions that define us as a culture have been raised through and by the art of recent decades, that without coming to terms with our art, we can scarcely understand ourselves. Cynthia Freeland has written a very smart book, in which high philosophical intelligence is applied to difficult questions raised by real works of art. It immediately situates the reader where thought and action meet, and since the issues are inescapable, it should be required reading for everyone. 'I know of no work that moves so swiftly and with so sure a footing through the battle zones of art and society today.' * Arthur C. Danto, Columbia University, author of After the end of art *show more

About Cynthia A. Freeland

Cynthia A. Freeland is professor of philosophy at the University of Houston. She has published on topics in the philosophy of art and film, ancient Greek philosophy, and feminist theory. She is also author of The Naked and the Undead: Evil and the Appeal of Horror (1999) and co-editor of Philosophy and Film (1995).show more

Table of contents

List of Illustrations ; 1. Blood and Beauty ; 2. Paradigms and Purposes ; 3. Cultural Crossings ; 4. Money, Markets, Museums ; 5. Gender, Genius, and Guerrilla Girls ; 6. Cognition, Creation, Comprehension ; 7. Digitizing and Disseminating ; Conclusion ; References ; Further Reading ; Indexshow more

Rating details

1,291 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 26% (334)
4 33% (429)
3 29% (377)
2 8% (104)
1 4% (47)
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