Why does art matter to us, and what makes it good? Why is the role of imagination so important in art? Illustrated with carefully chosen colour and black-and-white plates of examples from Michaelangelo to Matisse and Poussin to Pollock, Revealing Art takes us on a compelling and provocative journey.
Kieran explores some of the most important questions we can ask ourselves about art: how can art inspire us or disgust us? Is artistic judgement simply a matter of taste? Can art be immoral or obscene, and should it be censored? He brings such abstract issues to life with fascinating discussions of individual paintings, photographs and sculptures, such as Michelangelo's Pieta, Andres Serrano's Piss Christ and Francis Bacon's powerful paintings of the Pope.
He also suggests some answers to problems that any one in an art gallery or museum is likely to ask themselves: what is a beautiful work of art? and can art really reveal something true about our own nature?
Revealing Art is ideal for anyone interested in debates about art today, or who has simply stood in front of a painting and felt baffled.
Matthew Kieran is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Leeds, UK. His is the co-editor of Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts (2003) and the editor of Media Ethics (1998), both published by Routledge.
Introduction 1. Is Art Sacred? 2. Beauty Resurrected 3. Revealing Art 4. Art and Morality 5. The Truth in Humanism