Art Matters by Peter de Bolla

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



In the face of a great work of art, we so often stand mute, struck dumb. Is this a function—perhaps the first and foremost—of aesthetic experience? Or do we lack the words to say what we feel? Countering current assumptions that art is valued only according to taste or ideology, Peter de Bolla gives a voice—and vocabulary—to the wonder art can inspire. Working toward a better understanding of what it is to be profoundly moved by a work of art, he forces us to reconsider the importance of art works and the singular nature and value of our experience of them.

In many ways a "practical aesthetics," Art Matters proceeds by way of example. Through chapters attending to three works of art—Barnett Newman's painting Vir Heroicus Sublimis, pianist Glenn Gould's second recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, and William Wordsworth's poem "We Are Seven"—de Bolla plots a personal history of aesthetic experience that opens up the general forms of art appreciation. His book invites us to a closer encounter with art, and to a deeper appreciation and clearer expression of what such an encounter might hold.


About Peter de Bolla

See more books from this Author
Peter de Bolla is Fellow of King's College at Cambridge University and author of "Harold Bloom" and "The Discourse of the Sublime".
Published December 27, 2001 by Harvard University Press. 190 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Art Matters

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Objects and films are installed as a site-specific work in the museum's rotunda, where the last part of ''Cremaster 3,'' the last of the five films that Mr. Barney produced, was also staged.

Feb 21 2003 | Read Full Review of Art Matters

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In four short chapters and an introduction, Cambridge University Fellow de Bolla (The Discourse of the Sublime) mulls over his reactions to art, especially what he calls "mutism: being struck dumb" by a work.

| Read Full Review of Art Matters

Rate this book!

Add Review