Exhaustion of art forms/artists
July 7, 2010 9:32 PM   Subscribe

Not long ago I was reading a criticism of the notion that certain artistic styles become "exhausted" after which new styles have to be found that centered on the sensible claim that it is artists who come to find styles exhausted, not styles that in themselves become exhausted; it quoted at length from a scholar of Chinese art who made much the same point in regards to some period of Chinese painting (and perhaps poetry?). I can't at all remember where it was, though, and I would like to recover it.

One of the examples was a painter who not only imitated very well a long-deceased other painter's style but also put on the paintings the name of that other painter so as to make it completely obvious that the imitation was going on. The thrust there again was that while no innovation seemed to be taking place in the style at all, it wasn't yet "exhausted" because the artists were still content to produce works in that style.
posted by kenko to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think this might be an Arthur Danto essay where he talks about historicism, canon-making and Chinese painting. It's in a compendium of essays on comparative east-west philosophy but I imagine it's also in his own books...
posted by johnasdf at 10:02 PM on July 7, 2010

Response by poster: Hm, I think I would have remembered in that case.
posted by kenko at 8:26 AM on July 8, 2010

Best answer: It was this!
posted by kenko at 9:16 PM on July 23, 2010

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