Department of Art

On the Philosophy of Central European Art Published by Rowman & Littlefield's Lexington Books

Senior University Lecturer Max Ryynänen's book On the Philosophy of Central European Art: A History of an Institution and its Global Competitors is published November 15, 2020 by Rowman & Littlefield's Lexington Books.
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The book is an introduction to the history of the concept and the institution of (fine) art, from its ancient Southern European roots to the establishment of the modern system of the arts in eighteenth century Central Europe. It highlights the way the concept and institution of (fine) art, through colonialism and diaspora, conquered the world. Ryynänen presents globally competing frameworks from India to Japan but also describes how the art system debased local European artistic cultures (by women, members of the working class, etc) and how art with the capital A appropriated not just non-Western but also Western alternatives to art (popular culture). The book discusses alternative art forms such as sport, kitsch, and rap music as pockets of resistance and resources for future concepts of art. Ultimately, the book introduces nobrow as an alternative to high and low, a new concept that sheds light on the democratic potentials of the field of art and invites reader to rethink the nature of art.

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