This book proposes that art (a category that includes works of design, architecture and craft) is a therapeutic medium that can help guide, exhort and console its. Book details Author: Alain de Botton Pages: pages Publisher: Phaidon Press Language: English ISBN ISBN [DOWNLOAD] PDF The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard s Mo [PDF] DOWNLOAD Dinosaurs: Marvels of God s. Art as Therapy. NGV International | 28 March – late September 10 February Renowned philosophers and authors Alain de Botton and John.

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art professionals have reacted to the recent book by Alain de. Botton and John Armstrong, Art as Therapy (Phaidon, ). Whatever art professionals, such as. Editorial Reviews. Review. " "One of the most intellectually exciting books I have read this year. Art as Therapy by [Alain de Botton and John Armstrong]. In Art as Therapy (public library), philosopher Alain de Botton — who has previously examined such diverse and provocative subjects as why.

We may, for example, have a tendency to be too complacent, or too insecure; too trusting, or too suspicious; too serious, or too light-hearted. Art can put us in touch with concentrated doses of our missing dispositions, and thereby restore a measure of equilibrium to our listing inner selves.

This function of art also helps explain the vast diversity of our aesthetic preferences — because our individual imbalances differ, so do the artworks we seek out to soothe them: Why are some people drawn to minimalist architecture and others to Baroque?

Our tastes will depend on what spectrum of our emotional make-up lies in shadow and is hence in need of stimulation and emphasis. Every work of art is imbued with a particular psychological and moral atmosphere: a painting may be either serene or restless, courageous or careful, modest or confident, masculine or feminine, bourgeois or aristocratic, and our preferences for one kind over another reflect our varied psychological gaps.

We hunger for artworks that will compensate for our inner fragilities and help return us to a viable mean. We call a work beautiful when it supplies the virtues we are missing, and we dismiss as ugly one that forces on us moods or motifs that we feel either threatened or already overwhelmed by.

Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness. Viewing art from this perspective, de Botton and Armstrong argue, also affords us the necessary self-awareness to understand why we might respond negatively to a piece of art — an insight that might prevent us from reactive disparagement.

Alain De Botton - Art Is Therapy

Being able to recognize what someone lacks in order to find an artwork beautiful allows us to embody that essential practice of prioritizing understanding over self-righteousness.

In this respect, art is also a tuning — and atoning — mechanism for our moral virtues.

But such reactions miss the bigger point: We might think of works of art that exhort as both bossy and unnecessary, but this would assume an encouragement of virtue would always be contrary to our own desires.

In relation to our aspirations to goodness, we suffer from what Aristotle called akrasia, or weakness of will.

Only Connect: What’s Wrong with “Art as Therapy”

We want to behave well in our relationships, but slip up under pressure. We want to make more of ourselves, but lose motivation at a critical juncture.

In these circumstances, we can derive enormous benefit from works of art that encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves, something that we would only resent if we had a manic fear of outside intervention, or thought of ourselves as perfect already. They summarize this function of art beautifully: Art can save us time — and save our lives — through opportune and visceral reminders of balance and goodness that we should never presume we know enough about already.

Alain de Botton

Art, de Botton and Armstrong suggest, can help shed light on those least explored nooks of our psyche and make palpable the hunches of intuition we can only sense but not articulate: We are not transparent to ourselves. We have intuitions, suspicions, hunches, vague musings, and strangely mixed emotions, all of which resist simple definition.

Then, from time to time, we encounter works of art that seem to latch on to something we have felt but never recognized clearly before. More than that, they argue, the self-knowledge art bequeaths gives us a language for communicating that to others — something that explains why we are so particular about the kinds of art with which we surround ourselves publicly, a sort of self-packaging we all practice as much on the walls of our homes as we do on our Facebook walls and art Tumblrs.

While the cynic might interpret this as mere showing off, however, de Botton and Armstrong peel away this superficial interpretation to reveal the deeper psychological motive — our desire to communicate to others the subtleties of who we are and what we believe in a way that words might never fully capture. Bernd and Hilla Becher - Water Towers, , "The challenge for modern artists is to open our eyes to the charms of modern landscapes, which means, predominantly, landscapes marked by technology and industry.

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The Bechers devoted themselves to producing beautiful, spare images of bits of the industrial landscape no one had previously paid much attention to. After several decades of neglect their work eventually caught on.

They acquired a gallery in New York, the Museum of Modern Art picked up some of their work, and they are now firmly in the pantheon of fashionable artists of the 20th century.

He was suspicious of art museums and the snobbery they attracted. It is ironic therefore that most of his work is now to be found in museums. Botton says "The mission of the true art lover should be to reduce the relative importance of museums This leads to a strange paradox: we may well end up unimpressed or cold before works that, in theory, we regard as masterpieces.

Or we may dutifully attempt to force the appropriate reaction. Faced with Caravaggios depiction of the Biblical Judiths decapitation of the Assyrian general Holofernes, one might feel one ought to like it because it doesnt try to be prim about what it might be like to cut someones head off, because the light falling on Judiths dress is particularly vivid and because it shows that women can be violent, thereby counteracting the patronizing notion of the gentle sex Many people enthuse about this artists work, but in honest moments one might admit to not really liking it.

We all have some version of this story. That is, an experience of the gulf that can separate the prestige of the work from its power to touch ones soul.

This happens because the canon is in many ways disconnected from our inner needs.

It can be even more

There may be instances of overlap, but the disconnect is not really very surprising because the list of prestigious works and artists is not really intended to focus on what is going on in our lives.Shelves: art This book is simplistic, maddening, provocative, and eccentric. Sentimentality is a symptom of insufficient engagement with complexity, by which one really means problems.

Art as Therapy. Review quote "A highly optimistic vision The heavy, costly material they are made of makes us newly aware of their separateness and oddity: They offer an example: More than that, they argue, the self-knowledge art bequeaths gives us a language for communicating that to others — something that explains why we are so particular about the kinds of art with which we surround ourselves publicly, a sort of self-packaging we all practice as much on the walls of our homes as we do on our Facebook walls and art Tumblrs.

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