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Categoria: Curriculum Theoretic

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Matilde Carrasco Barranco
Aesthetics and the language of art criticism

For decades now, the debate on the role of aesthetics in art criticism often concerns the usefulness of aesthetic terms and this remains controversial. At least since F. Sibley’s work reinvigorated the interest in the existence and nature of aesthetic qualities, the main question has been the justificatory power of these qualities in artistic evaluation. Literature on the matter distinguishes judgements that globally assign positive or negative aesthetic value by using terms like “beauty” and “ugliness”, and judgments which ascribe more specific-value properties, like “powerful”, “eloquent” or “delicate” but also “dull”, “garish”, or “clunky”, which are meant to found the global evaluation of objects. The point is whether aesthetic qualities actually exist and are not the mere expression of a subjective preference, and so to what extent aesthetic judgments that assign qualities to objects are capable of bearing an evaluation with enough normative force, since all of them, qua aesthetic, imply the affective response of the viewer. While for many the critical use of aesthetic qualities would seem undermined by their acclaimed subjective and emotivist nature, my aim is to reinforce such use, however, by looking at the previous role that aesthetic qualities, including their affective component, can play in the critical description of artworks in order to interpret their meaning. This perspective has received much less attention although it was addressed by the latest work of the philosopher and art critic A. Danto, not without loose ends. The further exploration of this new perspective can help us not only to expand the role of aesthetics in art criticism but also question the seemingly expected task of art criticism, that of reaching a verdict that others should follow.

MATILDE CARRASCO BARRANCO is Doctor in Philosophy by the University of Granada. From 2004, she has taught Aesthetics and Theory of Arts in the University of Murcia, where she becomes Senior Lecturer in 2008. In 2012, she was elected member of the Executive Committee and Conference Organizer of the European Society of Aesthetics. Her main research interests include the relationship between aesthetic value and other values of art, art criticism, and art and politics. Her latest publications include “ÂżEs posible el regreso de la belleza? EstĂ©tica, Belleza y PolĂ­tica en el Arte ContemporĂĄneo” [ Ágora. Papeles de FilosofĂ­a, 36/2, 2017, pp. 151-17], “Valores artĂ­sticos y experiencia estĂ©tica” [en F. PĂ©rez Carreño (ed.) El valor del arte, Madrid: Antonio Machado, 2017, pp. 49-76], “Au-delĂ  du conceptualisme: l’esthĂ©tique et l’art d’aujourd’hui”. [Nouvelle revue d’esthĂ©tique.1-15, pp.149 – 161. 2015]