La scuola di New York, tra arte e neuroscienze


The paper is divided into three chapters concerning the aesthetic-philosophical vision, the neuro-psychological vision and the historical-artistic vision (plus a fourth and short chapter dedicated to two art critics). The first part (Chapter I, the aesthetic-philosophical vision) traces the question of Beauty, the genesis of aesthetics and its history, starting from its birth and then probing the various speculations produced by some of the most important philosophers and thinkers of Western culture: we go from the post-Socratic, Plato and Aristotle, then going through the centuries with Tommaso D'Aquino, the Renaissance period with its values and the Baroque, followed by Kant with the Critique of Pure Reason, Schelling with the concept of Spirit and Natura, Schiller and Goethe, Hegel with his Aesthetics, the comparison between Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer and, finally, Nietzsche and the Crocian aesthetic. The second section then continues (Chapter II, the neuropsychological view), where the concepts of psychology are introduced, the person of Freud and, especially, through his writings, his vision of art. It then continues with the topical moment of the transition between psychology and neuroscience, explaining the mechanisms of the visual system (the eye, its functioning, etc.) and of visual perception (as we look at, with what and in what way), the bottom-up and top-down information, the "way of what" and the "way of where". The chapter ends with an introduction to the inevitable passage in art from figuration to abstraction (the first attempts with Cézanne, Picasso, from the Impressionists to Turner up to Kandinsky and Mondrian). In the third block we investigate what is the New York School, its protagonists (Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem De Kooning) and the historical-artistic context in which they lived, made by post-war upheavals and mass escapes from Europe to the New Continent and very specific cities such as New York. Here the first Art Galleries are born, thanks also to figures like Peggy Guggenheim, gallerist, friend and patron of many of the painters of Abstract Expressionism. In section 4 the historical-artistic picture reappears, but presenting two of the most illustrious figures in the sector of the forties and fifties, art critics Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg. We proceed with the biography of the two and we underline how the caliber of certain figures has influenced, celebrated or destroyed some of the most important artists of that historical moment. It is thanks to them that the world of art becomes what it is today, made up of magazines, exhibitions, a melting pot of artistic personalities, ever more powerful and/or always different.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i17201632vXXIIn39-40p109

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