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KeepYourEyesWideOpen's avatar

What do you feel is the most important aspect of a work of art?

Asked by KeepYourEyesWideOpen (345 points ) January 11th, 2013

Is it aesthetics, the idea, the message, the modality, the artist?

I believe that it honestly depends on the work of art, at least in my opinion. With every piece of art, there is a different intention, and sometimes a piece of art is created in reference to a particular aspect, such as a study of shading. You can’t compare a work of art that’s a study of shadows and light to another work of art that’s cryptic in meaning and requires a deep analysis—they’re on two completely different planes of thought, and were created for different intentions. However, that doesn’t increase or decrease the value of the work of art as a whole.

Where do you stand on this issue?

Many thanks.

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6 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think it’s the message. Different art speaks to me in different ways. I love impressionist work, but I also loved Winslow Homer’s work, and Grandma Moses’ work. Completely different styles, but they all work.

wundayatta's avatar

Art is a communication. So understanding what is being communicated is the most important thing. That may or may not be what the artist intended to communicate. Often, the viewer gets something different from the work than the artist intended. And sometimes, the artist didn’t know what they intended.

Art uses many tools to communicate. It could be images, it could be color, texture, ideology, technique or many other things. Knowing the history of time of the arts creation, the artist’s personal history, the context, the philosophical discussions of the time and many other things can help you understand what is being communicated.

It is impossible to say what is most important of all those things. The work of art is probably best seen as a whole. Your intuitive, first impression probably tells you as much as weeks of study might tell you. This is communication, and we are people, and therefore the thing we have that ties us most tightly to the artist is our shared humanity. It is through that huge agglomeration of experiences that we get our first instant understanding of what we are seeing, like it or not.

I say that whatever emotional message you get in the first instant is probably the most important thing for you, and is also most likely to be what the artist was trying to convey.

janbb's avatar

The response of the viewer to it.

Pachy's avatar

I think the most important aspect of a work of art—painting, book, sculpture—is that the artist invested the time, talent and energy to do it. Even if a viewer doesn’t like or understand the work; at least the artist made the effort. In my opinion, everything else—viewer understanding, monetary award, etc.—is secondary.

obsidianowl's avatar

The emotion of the viewer/listener/etc. said art evokes.

Sunny2's avatar

To the artist, it’s satisfaction with the work accomplished. To the observer, it’s the reaction to the work and what it says to him/her. It may the visual pleasure of seeing the work or the feelings and thoughts the work inspires. It’s a very individual thing.

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