Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why Beauty Matters

February 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Art Politics, videos

I just discovered this wonderful video by the BBC and the Philosopher Roger Scrution (in 6 parts) posted on Valentino’s new blog on art and Croatian painting in particular. (Valentino frequently comments here)

A provocative and thought provoking discussion of post-modernism and Beauty. Might inspire a lively conversation here.

Part One of Six – you can view part two and the rest of the videos on youtube or click on the thumbnails on the bottom of the video for part two, etc.

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6 Responses to “Why Beauty Matters”
  1. Larry, Thanks for this forum and the diversity of views of perception. When I started painting it was called landscape painting, and I still have the work I did 40 years ago of a hillside covered with honeysuckle. There was something enchanting there for me, and I still feel priveledged to be standing before nature making my marks. Though I don’t need validation it is heartening to see and read works/words of others in their pursuit of beauty. The Roger Scruton video is timely. Again, thanks. Jack

  2. Valentino says:

    I thought that having a good taste was political incorrect these days, but BBC proved me wrong. Kudos to Scruton. It is refreshing to hear a sane person deconstructing contemporary “art”.

  3. TDK says:

    Good stuff, though not much can be said in a modest video such as this but the point of beauty does get dimly across.

    Picasso, Pollock, C├ęzanne and the calculating Degas just to mention a few understood these principles as well. But why a painting becomes a success is pretty well a mystery an enigma containing many human variables to play with where we alter our perceptions into our own interpretation which I guess therein lies some pretty good art.

    Anyways I enjoyed the Video so thanks for that.

  4. John Lee says:

    Good Video, thought provoking, etc. Thanks for posting. I really did laugh out loud at his calling modern architecture the biggest crime against humanity (or something of the like)!
    Still, I wish that more might have been discussed with late 19th and 20th C. painting. Scruton stays mainly with Classical Art (Bernini, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Rembrandt, and so on) in describing Beauty, and post-Duchampian Conceptual Art to describe ugliness, or the lack of Beauty, moral and aesthetic decay. But what about Impressionism (Classical Artists laughing at Pissarro, for example)? There were many debates between Classical trained Academic Figurative Painters and the Impressionists. Cezanne, Cubism, Mondrian, for example, were not recognized as Beauty in their infancy (at least not by the majority). Soutine?

    • Larry says:

      Scruton did seem a bit stodgy at times, I didn’t warm up to him much despite agreeing with much of what he says. To be fair, he did take some particularly egregious example of post-modern excess, (can of artist shit, performance puking,etc) to make his point, where there are some po-mo artists whose work could be considered engaging and beautiful in new ways as well as being thought-provoking. You’re right to point out his not dealing with other forms of modernism that weren’t recognized as beauty in their beginnings but are widely accepted as such now. They probably just didn’t have time in the video to deal those artists. Still, he makes some moving points about the need for beauty of all kinds in our lives. Today’s prevalent mode of art as anti-beauty that seeks to shock, repulse, politicize or just wanking has had its day in the sun for far too long and it’s good to see it get slapped down a bit.

  5. ali says:

    interesting piece, but some of his assertions are so plainly false as to hardly need refutation

    love has no utility? beauty has no utility? nonsense. they both have demonstrable utility

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