In his book, , published in 1890, the progressive modernist painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler, proposed that ‘Art should be independent of all claptrap – should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye and ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism, and the like.
In a world without sense, all choices are possible, a situation which Sartre viewed as human beings central dilemma: "Man [woman] is condemned to be free." In contrast to atheist existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard theorized that belief in God (given that we are provided with no proof or assurance) required a conscious choice or "leap of faith." The major figures include Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre (sart or SAR-treh), Albert Camus (kah-MUE or ka-MOO) , Simone de Beauvoir (bohv-WAHR) , Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers (YASS-pers), and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (mer-LOH pawn-TEE).
The Philosophy of Social Science
Some artists went in search of ‘art.’ From an Enlightenment point of view, this was a search for the ‘truth’ or essence of art, and was carried out using a sort of pictorial reasoning.
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Formalism, though, could also be turned to the advantage of the progressives who were able to use it in defense of modernism, abstraction in particular, which has been especially open to criticism.
Postmodern Art - Modern Art Terms and ..
Many of the art movements spawned in the first half of the 20th century can be seen as various attempts to break the formalist grip on progressive modernism.
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Eventually there emerged the notion that modernist art is to be practiced entirely within a closed formalist sphere that was necessarily separated from, so as not to become contaminated by, the real world.
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From now on, art was to be discussed in formal terms — colour, line, shape, space, composition — which effectively removed the question of meaning and purpose from consideration and permitted whatever social, political, or progressive statements the artist had hoped to make in his or her work to be conveniently ignored or played down.
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The same middle class whose tastes and ideas Whistler was confronting through his art, quickly turned the call of ‘Art for Art's Sake’ into a tool to further neutralize the content and noxious effects of progressive modernist art.
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As in the visual arts, music also became less ‘representational’ and evocative (that is, associated with real–world themes, events, places, people, objects, ideas, or emotions) and more abstract and expressive.