Fine Arts | Eye of the Beholder: Art & Perception
A276 | 2304 | Hart


There is no getting around it: perception is key to art.  However, the
ways I which perception is key to art are open to interpretation.
Questions arise about artistic practice that have launched great debates
in art history: Why do artists use perceptual illusions I creating
realistic images?  Why have artists adopted certain methods, and not
others, to create a three-dimensional illusion of space?  Do
representational artists begin b looking at the world and reproducing it,
or by making art and correcting it against reality?

These questions form the basis for some of the critical discussions in art
history about the relationship of perception to art.  Late
nineteenth-century art historians wanted an empirical, perceptual
framework for discussion art; their late twentieth-century counterparts
are more interested in the response of the viewer.  The class discussions
will revolve around the writings of E.H. Gombrich on Art and Illusion,
Rudolph Arnheim, T.J. Clark and Michael Fried, Michael Baxandall, Erwin
Panofsky, Heinrich Woelfflin, Bernhard Berenson, Michel Foucault, among
others.  Students will be encouraged to interpret art from all cultures
and periods.