Ars: časopis Ústavu Dejín Umenia Slovenskej Akadémie Vied — 3.1969

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phenomenon and of the limits of cognition into
an absolute" is characteristic of ail the théories
evolved to date in the held of aesthetics and theory
of art. But there is no need to continue to accept
this situation. The dialectic method of thinking
can lead also in the sphere of aesthetic investigation
of art to the legitimate acceptance and coexistence
of the seemingly antagonistic anthropological,
psychological, historical, sociological, natural scien-
ce, and morphological — structuralist methods or
other types of the investigation of art. TAe ypec(/?c
cAorac^er o/ fs
This is not only the resuit of the
fact that art itself is developing and that, for
instance, old Roman frescoes demand a diiferent
interprétation than classical architecture or Pi-
casso's paintings. It is also the product of the fact
that the same work, for instance classical archi-
tecture or Picasso's paintings may lead to com-
pletely diiferent yet equally justihed interprétations.
Every serious interprétation and every new
theoretically-methodological aspect enriches the
inwardly non-conformist, continually developing,
structurally varied and diaîectically conceived
science concerning art.
Theoretical investigation and research, however,
is not the only source of our information concerning
art. There is also the actual artistic practice. Let
us consider what a wealth of methodological
Stimuli is oifered by the still unhnished and highly
fascinating adventure of the so-called modem art.
In the course of a little more than half a Century
there accumulated so many contradictory and yet
equally persuasive, new and fully justihed expla-
nations of procedures and concepts of art that we
are justihed in doubting whether it is at ail
possible to include ail these heterogeneous élé-
ments under the single labié of modem art.
While impressionism is basically the culminating
point of the older style concept of art, starting
as it does out of sensual inspiration created by
reality in which colour and light has a dominant
position, expressionism negates the inspirational
Stimuli of real phenomena and turns to an inward,
primarily emotional model. Not reality or seeming
reality, but a human statement: the excited
psyché becomes the focal point of attention of the
painter, in order to be immediately again negated
by a revolutionary emphasis on structural élé-
ments of expression means in emerging cubism,

futurism, constructivism and other parallel ten-
dencies. The contrast with the still surviving
expressionism but also with the Art nouveau
movement is seemingly absolute. And yet time
has shown that a définition of modem art empha-
sizing the immanent structural-pictorial éléments
is more than merely relative. Dadaism, but espe-
cially the emerging surrealism and parallel non-
hgurative trends (expressionistic or lyrical abstrac-
tion etc.) rehabilitated personal temperament
and imagination. These trends found in the
rejected inward model and in the personality of the
artist a source of new certainties, and set up a new
aesthetic norm, constructionally diametrically
antithetical, in the new architectural style
prévalent in about 1912.
It is obvious that wAmA
řo ^Ae o/
upproucAe^ u fAeory
Í3 That is true not only in
as far it concems the general aesthetic ideal and
the inspiration of the work, but even when
applied to the concrète concept of artistic création
and its methods. The ideal of quality, finish,
technical préparation etc. was diametrally diiferent
in the impressionistic and fauvistic approach for
instance, even if we do not analyse the even more
pronounced antithesis of the development in
the décades which followed. Side by side, and as
can be seen at this distance, without contra-
dicting each other, there coexisted in the same
period the dynamic van Gogh and classical,
static Cézanne, abstract Kandinsky, Klee and
Malevich, the naturalistically descriptive Dali,
magical Ernst, painterly Matisse and mono-
chromatic Braque. The constructivist tendencies
gave in turn way to extreme programmes (of
destruction (of paintings, aesthetics, fossilized social
ideals, art altogether). Paramount almost dogmatic
emphasis on materials and expression means
alternated with their total disregard etc. Briefly
said: modem art casts light on the relative cha-
racter of any aesthetic or style directives. Only
the multifaceted and never fhiished development
is absolute. All its phénoménal aesthetic forms
are only temporary. It is evident that the above
mentioned signalizes the hnal end of any normative
aesthetics with a validity unrelated to its period
of origin, and that even with respect to the
most fundamental principles determining the

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