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Beyond Baudelaire's indignation : an enquiry into the interplay between the art markets and the decline of the representation theory in art criticism. The case of Brussels, 1848-1914.

The purpose of this interdisciplinary project is to gain an in-depth understanding of 'art value' through a diachronic analysis of the Brussels art market (1848-1914) in relation to simultaneous transformations in the art-theoretical discourse and aesthetic thinking. Preparatory historical research has shown that the Brussels art market was profoundly restructured during the second half of the 19th century (Arnout). Interestingly enough, this reorganization of the Brussels art market did not only coincide with a striking increase in the number of specialized art magazines, but also with the decline of the representation theory and the rise of the expression theory in the visual arts at the end of the 19th century. Through a systematic analysis of various forms of discourse on art value (ranging from market value eloquently phrased in auction catalogues to art criticism in magazines and philosophical aesthetics), these phenomena will for the first time be approached in one research project. Whereas historical research on art markets benefits both from an in-depth art-historical knowledge of the works sold and from an insight into the aesthetic canon of a certain period (Lyna), the need for a historical dimension becomes more and more explicit in art-philosophical research concerning the criticism of representation. In this interdisciplinary project, the paradigm shift from representation theory to expression theory offers a unique opportunity to fathom the interplay of aesthetic thinking and the (historical transformations of the) art markets.
Date:1 Jul 2012 →  30 Jun 2016
Disciplines:Curatorial and related studies, History, Other history and archaeology, Theory and methodology of philosophy, Philosophy, Ethics, Other philosophy, ethics and religious studies not elsewhere classified, Art studies and sciences, Artistic design, Audiovisual art and digital media, Heritage, Music, Theatre and performance, Visual arts , Other arts, Product development, Study of regions