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Sean McMains

It's an interesting conversation, isn't it? In general, I tend to give the modernists attention only after they've learned and demonstrated some mastery in the more realistic, representative forms. Otherwise, it just looks too much like taking a lazy shortcut. (Which probably means I'm a closed-minded anti-aesthete.)


Yes, it is absolutely fascinating! John Dewey has some useful insight in "Art as Experience," which suggests that art is primarily the experience of the recipient. Of course, he would also suggest that the creation of the work of art plays a part in that experience, which in my mind would exclude the playful color-splashing of a 4-year-old.

The discussion takes a different tack when you start talking about the performing arts, and specifically of interest to me, music. And for the record, I think we avoid this kind of discussion all too often in our undergraduate programs!

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