Hegel’s End-of-Art Revisited: The Death of God and the Essential Finitude of Artistic Beauty

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Title: Hegel’s End-of-Art Revisited: The Death of God and the Essential Finitude of Artistic Beauty
Authors: Reid, Jeffrey
Date: 2020
Abstract: Hegelians reflecting on the philosopher’s reported pronouncement on the “death” or the “end” of art have either tended to deny Hegel ever really said such a thing or to claim that if he did say it, then he was referring only to a “classical” view of art, thereby liberating art for its true, modernist vocation. Still others acknowledge Hegel’s pronouncement and see it as raising issues in aesthetics that stretch beyond Hegelian philosophy, contradicting its systematicity. The present article demonstrates how beautiful art (schöne Kunst) ends with the death of Christ, as the most accomplished, perfect artwork, the singular realization of Classical beauty. Post-Classical art seeks to reclaim lost beauty, a search condemning it to “end” ironically in the unending approximation of modern artistic actuality (Wirklichkeit). By allowing the endless iterations of modern art to culminate historically in the systematic narrative of Encyclopedic Philosophical Science, Hegel seeks to save art from its own bad infinity, conferring meaning on its otherwise senseless reiteration of the “new”. Perhaps such a salvation comes at the cost of configuring Hegelian Science itself as a singular work of art.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/41829
CollectionPhilosophie - Publications // Philosophy - Publications
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