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Art Theory & Essential Reading for Artists

Critical Reading / Books for Artists

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"It is language that tells us about the nature of a thing, provided that we respect language's own nature. In the mean-time, to be sure, there rages round the earth an unbridled yet clever talking, writing and broadcasting of spoken words. Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language while in fact language remains the master of man." Martin Heidegger, "Poetry, Language, Thought".

If it is original thought that challenges an artist - moves an artist to action - then it might be the case that challenging thought is a potent prompt to move an artist to originality. If an artist is to continue the ever productive labor of defining and re-defining just what art might be, or can be, then it must be fruitful, expanding, inspirational or even thrilling to engage a certain breadth of theoretical, critical and philosophical writings on art and aesthetics as they were written both within a historical context or decidedly outside of one. This course will introduce you to a range of texts that reflect an introductory sample of the many ways, creativity, ideation, process and product can be imagined and encountered from the intellectual position of a reader. Words and language aplenty, yet for the fueling of those creative and created things that are quite non-verbal. Selections will be broken into eight modules, each of which will contain a prompt to seed or give direction to the reading experience, the reading challenge. There is, of course, an ocean of notion out there regarding the hows, whys and whats of art. We who are reading for art are also, of course reading for the contemplation of art and yet further for the discussion of it. Insights exchanged and interpretations shared will be the substance and the gain. In this course our authors will address many variations on a few of those age-old and recurring themes. For Art has never been without quandary and conundrum. We learn from each other. This course will break down selected texts into manageable and hopefully fortifying chunks.


Your Instructor


Brainard Carey
Brainard Carey

Brainard Carey has written three books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, and The Art World Demystified.

Carey interviews major and minor figures from all over the art world for Yale University radio. He is an educator and also an artist that has had major shows like The Whitney Museum Biennial and many others.


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