Concealing The Effort Of Art From Aristotle To Duchamp
Sobre o livro
The essence of art is to conceal art. For instance, a dancer or musician does not just need to perform with expressiveness and ability. There should also be a lack of visible effort to give an impression of naturalness and ease. To disguise technique and feign carelessness is to heighten beauty. To express this notion, Italian has a word that possesses no exact correspondence in other languages,sprezzatura: a kind of unaffectedness or nonchalance.
In this book, the first to considersprezzatura in its own right, the philosopher of art Paolo DAngelo reconstructs the history of concealing art, from ancient rhetoric to our own times. The wordsprezzatura was coined in 1528 by Baldassar Castiglione inThe Book of the Courtier to mean a kind of grace with a special essence: the ability to conceal art. But the idea reaches back to Aristotle and Cicero and forward to avant-garde works such as Duchamps ready-mades, all of which share the suspicion of the overt display of skill. The precept that art must be hidden turns up in a number of fields, from cosmetics to interior design, politics to poetry, the English garden to shabby chic. Through exploring different articulations of this idea, DAngelo shows the paradox of aesthetics: art hides that it is art, but in doing so it reveals itself to be art and becomes an assertion about art. When art is concealed, it appears as spontaneous as natureyet, paradoxically, also reveals its indebtedness to technique. An erudite and surprising tour through aesthetics, philosophy, and art history, Sprezzatura presents a strikingly original argument with deceptive ease.