Semiotics and Art Theory: Between Autonomism and Contextualism

Madeleine Schechter
Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg, 2008

החוקר.ת מאחורי המחקר

This book explores the intricate relationships be­tween modernism and postmodernism, or autono-mism and contextualism. The limits between these modes are not distinct boundaries; rather, they are open-ended thresholds. The book argues for the persistence of the aesthetic in art theory, understood in a broad, not a purely formalist, sense. In this re­spect, Romanticism appears to be a bridge between modernism and postmodernism, focusing on art as an aesthetic entity that embodies its meaning. This has two-fold relevance for the modern theory of art: first, it provides continuity through the differences between autonomous (modernist) and contextualist (poststructuralist) philosophies of art; and second, it marks the shift in paradigm that is a return to the aesthetic, which can be described as a journey from autonomism to contextualism and back.

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