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Immanuel Kant’s definition of genius applied to contemporary art

Given Kants definition of genius, how can we apply it to contemporary artists? Use Kant and examples from contemporary art and artists texts.

APPLY Kant’s definition of genius to contemporary artists and art (produced in the second half of the 20th century until now, different from modern art).

I uploaded the sections of The Critique of Judgment in which he defines genius as ‘kant.pdf’. Definitely read all of that attachment and take notes (might be helpful to look my notes over first). The ‘additional.pdf’ is the other part of The Critique of Judgment that we were assigned to read so that you can get a sense of Kant’s overall view of art and beauty if need be. I also included the excerpts from Barnette Newman which could be used as an artists text if it’s relevant and coherent with the essay. Some of Newman’s later work fits in the contemporary period.

Please use at least 2 examples of contemporary artists. I was thinking Banksy and Andy Warhol, but whatever artists you see best fit are fine.

If possible, compare contemporary artists to genius(es) of Kant’s time. Who do you think he considered a genius (artists before 1790)?

Please utilize my notes on Kant’s definition of genius:

Genius is the talent (natural endowment) which gives the rule to art. Since talent, as an innate faculty of the artist, belongs itself to nature, we may put it this way: Genius is the innate mental aptitude (Ingenium) through which nature gives the rule to art.

-originality must be its primary property
-the work of a genius must also be exemplary
    -not derived from imitation, they must serve that purpose for others

-according to Kant genius applies only to fine art, NOT to science
      -it cannot be learned
      -science follows rules, doesn’t create them
      -science is a theoretical faculty
      -art is a productive and practical (as in practice) faculty

The mental powers whose union in a certain relation constitute genius are imagination and understanding

Key components:
-originality
-exemplary
-imagination
-understanding
-spirit
-taste

1 talent for art, not science
2 presupposes a definite concept of the product as its end. Hence it presupposes understanding, but, in addition, a representation, indeterminate though it be, of the material, i.e. of the intuition, required for the presentation of that concept, and so a relation of the imagination to the understanding.
4 the unsought and undesigned subjective purposiveness in the free harmonizing of the imagination with the understandings conformity to law presupposes a proportion and accord between these faculties such as cannot be brought through any observance of rules, whether of science of mechanical imitation, but can only be produced through the nature of the subject.

Genius, according to these presuppositions, is the exemplary originality of the natural endowments of a subject in the free employment of his cognitive faculties.

Let me know if you have any questions!

 

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