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[Documentation for Master of Fine Arts]

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Oakford, Dawn 1991 , '[Documentation for Master of Fine Arts]', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

ON THE ROLE OF CLEMENT GREENBERG IN MODERN CRITICISM

Ultimately my work is concerned with the enjoyment I derive from the physicality of clay - in both its raw and fired states. The pieces I produce have underlying references to the history of art and ceramics but their existence is not dependent on any specific historical, political or social context. My work, however, does require dialogue with my audience largely through its functionality but also its aesthetic nature - its appeal to the visual, and the tactile senses.
As a result of these concerns taking priority in my art practice I became interested in the theories of Clement Greenberg, particularly those that focused on the sensory experience of art as a measure of its worth (n.b. Greenberg in concerning himself primarily with the visual arts in fact refers to the exclusivity of visual experience. My interest in the application of his theories to the field of ceramics has led me to take certain liberties with his definitions.)
The significant role that Greenberg assigns the art audience also prompted further research on my part into his writings and the motivation behind them. Perhaps some desire to "set the record straight" also underlined my choice - given Greenberg's blatant dismissal of what he labelled "minor" art - a category which to his mind most certainly encompassed ceramics.
Prior to embarking on any investigation of the relevance of formalism to an understanding of contemporary ceramics, I think it necessary to examine in more detail the writings of Greenberg particularly those of the period 1939-49 - the years in which he was primarily concerned with establishing a focal point in contemporary art. In light of this my first paper is concerned not only with what Greenberg wrote in his formative years as a critic and theoretician but how he wrote and the motivations that lay behind his reviews and critiques. The appropriateness of his theories to today's contemporary art scene will also be discussed with a view to "setting the scene" in general art terms in preparation for the discussion that takes place in my second paper on the specific applications of formalist principles in the field of ceramics.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Oakford, Dawn
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1990 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1991. Includes bibliographical references

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