Aesthetic autonomy and the crisis of theory: Greenberg, Adorno, and the problem of postmodernism in the visual arts

Winter 1989

Osborne looks at modernism and postmodernism in aesthetic theory, drawing on works by Jencks, Greenberg, Burgin and Adorno. He considers the role of art as commodity versus art as aesthetic and the crucial question of the ‘autonomy’ of art. He also questions the relationship between modernism and tradition - should we view modernism as a ‘break with the past’, or is there a ‘continuation’ from one moment to the other? Looking at surrealism and avant-garde art, Osborne concludes that while modernism derives from the ‘failure’ of the avant-garde, postmodernism does not necessarily imply the failure of modernism, which itself may not be over and done with.

PDF of article:

Subscribers to New Formations can access this article for free. If you are already a subscriber please login to your account to read the article.

Subscribe to New Formations

Please note that due to EU VAT charges on digital products, the final price may be slightly different depending on the EU country in which your billing address is located.
New Formations 9 cover