Český Greenberg? Mukařovský a estetický formalismus

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Abstract
[A Czech Greenberg? Mukařovský and Aesthetic Formalism] This article revisits Tomáš Pospiszyl’s discussion of the split between the North American and the Czechoslovak postwar modernism as a difference between the views of two critics who dominated the American and the Czechoslovak art scene, respectively--Clement Greenberg and Jindřich Chalupecký. Pospiszyl convincingly traces the evolution of American art to what has been called Greenberg’s “formalism,” and the developments on the Czechoslovak scene to Chalupecký’s ideas about art as part of social social interactions. Though the author of the article agrees with this analysis of Czechoslovak modernism as anti-formalist, he seeks to draw attention to the writings of the Czech literary theorist Jan Mukařovský, which were contemporaneous with Chalupecký’s and Greenberg’s--in particular Mukařovský’s 1944 lecture “The Essence of the Visual Arts.” The author provides a comparative analysis of Mukařovský and Greenberg, suggesting that the former was quite close to the latter’s “formalism.” This might seem incorrect, given that Mukařovský is considered to be a precursor of the semiotic theory of art, which is generally understood as antithetical to formalism. The solution, he argues, is to realize that Greenberg is subtler, hence not so "formalist” after all. At any rate, it turns out that in addition to Chalupecký’s “social” theory of art, Mukařovský had a more “formalist” alternative which – for well-known historical reasons – had no effect on the subsequent development of Czechoslovak modernism.
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Archival date: 2018-07-24
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2018-07-24

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