Pearls from artists* # 275November 22, 2017
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Works of art… have a dominant function. They are objects of aesthetic interest. They may fulfill this function in a rewarding way, offering food for thought and spiritual uplift, winning for themselves a loyal public that returns to them to be consoled or inspired. They may fulfill their function in ways that are judged to be offensive or demeaning. Or they may fail altogether to prompt the aesthetic interest that they petition for. The works of art that we remember fall into the first two categories: the uplifting and the demeaning. The total failures disappear from memory. And it really matters which kind of art you adhere to, which you carry around in your heart. Good taste is… important in aesthetics… and indeed taste is what it is all about. If university courses do not start from that premise, students will finish their studies of art and culture just as ignorant as when they began. When it comes to art, aesthetic judgment concerns what you ought and ought not to like…
Roger Scruton in Beauty: A Very Short Introduction
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