[A]s for art theory it’s pretty simple stuff. You can read every significant tome on it in a month. (I am honestly not sure that Rand’s book isn’t one of the best really, in retrospect. And I don’t think much of rand as other than the children’s book version of philosophy for newbs.)
All art can be criticized on these three criteria
– Craftsmanship (skill in use of materials)
– Design (aesthetics – skill in associative pre-cognitive patterns)
– Content (meaning – skill in associative cognitive patterns)
And, in all three dimensions by these criteria:
– Novelty is better (innovation)
– Parsimony is better (clarity)
– More information is better (richness or density)
– Monumental (level of public/social/political value)
– Durable is better (the persistence of the work as a reference is better)
– Unique is better (the symbol that captures an excellence of a time and place)
We tend to see these criteria as as ‘excellence’.
Using the three axis, and six criteria, all:
Can be compared and contrasted if not quantitatively(cardinally) at least qualitatively(ordinary).
You would think not, but opinion in art coalesces just as do theories in science. While one might have one taste or another, it is very hard to study the whole of art history and not come to about the same conclusion as have all the others: These works are clearly better and these works are clearly not as good. But I PREFER these over the objectively better ones as they suit my taste. (( I didn’t expect to love Medieval art, but I do. I did come to appreciate through economics the struggles of post-photography artists, and I can also appreciate the minimalists, even if I still despise the pop and marxists. ))
If you try it, sort of by stack ranking any set of art pieces by the criteria above it will rapidly become clear to you that art criticism and scientific criticism are extremely similar endeavors.
This [messes] with the mind of sentimental people who desperately want an internal intuitionistic truth to appeal to – but it’s sad for them. I’m sorry. Carful criticism still defeats your ‘intuition’.
Art is just as open to criticism as any other work of man. There is just a lot of marginal indifference within each strata of work.
It’s very obvious after a while that the communists and socialists and feminists and postmodernists attacked art just as they attacked truth.
‘Cause they desperately wanna lie.