Development and the Arts: Critical Perspectives

Development and the Arts: Critical Perspectives

Development and the Arts: Critical Perspectives

Development and the Arts: Critical Perspectives

Synopsis

This volume's unifying theme is the question: Is a concept of development relevant to art? Bringing together contributions from the perspectives of philosophical aesthetics, psychoanalysis, architecture and design, and the practicing artist, as well as developmental theory in psychology, this volume provides a unique assembly of voices from different disciplines. The twelve chapters span artistic production in childhood, transformations in the work of the individual artist, and historical changes in art, thus establishing a broad canvas for examining how concepts of development are used in relation to the arts.

The contributors consider specific phenomena and questions against the background of theoretical issues, taking markedly different views on whether change in artistic work can be aptly characterized as development and, if so, what modulations of the concept may be required in light of accompanying assumptions and implications. Given the nature of this discourse, this richly illustrated book should lead to a radical rethinking among those who apply developmental concepts to artistic phenomena and aesthetic movements, and to reconsideration of the role of art in optimal human development within the individual and within social orders.

Excerpt

The chapters in this volume are, with two exceptions, based on presentations at the conference, "Development and the Arts," which was convened at Clark University in October 1987, under the auspices of the Heinz Werner Institute for Developmental Analysis. The presenters at the conference included psychologists, philosophers, a psychiatrist, an architect, and an artist. The selection of participants reflects one of the aims of the Heinz Werner Institute: to promote dissemination of ideas among scholars and practitioners from different disciplines. The program was designed to realize another principal aim of the Institute: to promote critical consideration of the concept of development--in this case, in relation to the arts: in theoretical/critical discourse, in analyses of the child's work and the adult artist's, and in the discussion of art history.

Unfortunately, two papers presented at the conference could not be included in the present volume. These were "Computers and the Art of Children:
The Research of Joachim F. Wohlwill, 1984-1987,"
bySusan D. Wills ,Maryellen Degnan, andMichael J. Rovine, and "Development in the Visual Arts:
Basic Skills, Visual Schemas and Creativity"
byEllen Winner . We take this occasion to acknowledge the value of these contributions to the program. Two chapters have been prepared for this publication: "Narratives of Change and Continuity:
Women Artists Reflect on their Work"
byMargery B. Franklin, and "A Response to Wartofsky" bySidney J. Blatt. The 12 chapters are arranged under four headings: Concepts of Development in the Arts, Artistic Processes in . . .

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