Analys och värdering : en studie i svensk konstkritik 1930-35
Sammanfattning: During the early thirties there were intensive discussions on the conditions and functions of art. The purpose of this theses is to investigate how the taste and attitudes to art of a particular period of time are mirrored in the contemporary art criticism and to analyse how these attitudes are expressed. The work contains a descriptive and an analytical section. Seven of the ten Stockholm newspapers had critics writing regularly. The art galleries were few. Thus, the critics had the opportunity to attend all the exhibitions that were offered. Among the critics were the enthusiastic Gustaf Näsström and the doctrinaire Gotthard Johansson. Here we find the artists Yngve Berg and Otto G Carlsund, the poets Gunnar Mascoll Silfverstolpe and Karl Asplund, the art historian Nils Palmgren and the author Erik Blomberg. Vitalistic colourism and surrealism were introduced. Functionalism had its breakthrough and the trend of primitivistic anti-intellectualism and anti-aestheticism were discussed as well as the exclusivity of abstract painting. Two different positions of aesthetic description and evaluation are observed. First, there is the critic who tries to understand the intention of the artist and to determine how well he has succeeded in making his intention clear. Second, there is the critic who communicates his own private experience of a work of art. Each critic has either consciously or unconsciously his own idea of the rôle of value judgements. A relativistic attitude is most frequent. The criteria for artistic value vary. While one critic prefers a work of art which reflects contemporary life, another prefers to judge a work of art according to purely formal standards. All agree that a great work of art must possess ”truth”, ”sincerity” and ”genuineness”. In conclusion some typical features in the disposition of the reviews and some stylistic elements are examined. The purpose is to offer a guide to the reading of art criticism.
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