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If an artist sends a live peacock to an exhibition, is it art? The question 'what is art?' is a question many of us want to know but are afraid to ask. It is the very question that Nigel Warburton demystifies in this brilliant, accessible and affordable book. With help of carefully chosen illustrations and photographs, from Cezanne and Van Gogh to Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and the Osmond family, best-selling author Nigel Warburton brings a philosopher's eye to art in a refreshingly jargon-free style. Starting with the idea that art is simply significant form, he explains with his customary clarity much talked about but little understood theories of art: art as expression, art as family resemblance, the institutional theory of art. Throughout, he brings to life the arguments of the thinkers behind these theories, such as Clive Bell, R.G Collingwood and Wittgenstein. He also illuminates other perplexing problems in art, such as the artist's intention, representation and emotion, before drawing on photographs of Cindy Sherman and Tiananmen Square to show that we must consider each work of art on its own terms if we are ever to answer the art question.
The Art Question is a stimulating and handy guide through the art maze and is essential reading for anyone interested in art and philosophy.