high art

   Fine art, also known as beaux-arts, art that is of universal transcendence, having withstood the test of time and representing the epitome of artistic achievement, as opposed to low art, which is also known as mass culture. Until recently, a distinction was typically made between high and low art. Traditionally, high art consists of the meticulous expression in fine materials of refined or noble sentiment, appreciation of the former depending on such things as intelligence, social standing, educated taste, and a willingness to be challenged. Low art is the shoddy manufacturing in inferior materials of superficial kitsch, simply catering to popular taste, unreflective acceptance of realism, and a certain "couch potato" mentality. Although many earlier artists took inspiration from popular and folk art, the most systematic approaches towards blurring the differences between high and low art were taken by Cubism, Dada and Surrealism. Pop Art further weakened the distinction, and artists as various as Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), Jeff Koons (American, 1955-) and the Guerrilla Girls (American), influenced strongly by the different branches of postmodern thought, have dealt it the further blows. It is not surprising, given for example that the song O Superman by performance artist Laurie Anderson (American, 1947-) reached the top ten of the pop charts in the U.S. and England, that video and camera artist William Wegman (American, contemporary) has appeared on television's The Tonight Show to promote a book of photographs, and that both have done segments on Saturday Night Live. In spite of this, one still wonders if the distinction still exists, albeit in a slightly different form. Few would seriously argue that the droves who follow televised wrestling matches and afternoon soap operas have any genuine interest in contemporary art. It is even less likely that the millions who read supermarket tabloids or romance novels would ever choose to read advanced art criticism.

Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • High art — High High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • High Art — est un film américano canadien réalisé par Lisa Cholodenko sorti en 1998. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 Autour du film …   Wikipédia en Français

  • High Art — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel High Art Produktionsland Kanada, USA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • High Art — Infobox Film name = High Art caption = Promotional film poster writer = Lisa Cholodenko starring = Radha Mitchell Gabriel Mann Ally Sheedy Patricia Clarkson director = Lisa Cholodenko producer = Antidote Films Jeff Levy Hinte, Susan Stover, Dolly …   Wikipedia

  • art —    For numerous reasons, the most difficult word to define without starting endless argument! Many definitions have been proposed. At least art involves a degree of human involvement through manual skills or thought as with the word artificial,… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • High culture — is a term, now used in a number of different ways in academic discourse, whose most common meaning is the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture, or denoting the culture of ruling social groups.… …   Wikipedia

  • High — High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[ u]gel… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • High admiral — High High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • High altar — High High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • High and dry — High High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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