Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 27 September 2021

p. 202. Paradigms and purposeslocked

p. 202. Paradigms and purposeslocked

  • Cynthia Freeland


Contemporary artists who create work using blood, urine, maggots, and plastic surgery are successors of past artists who took sex, violence, and war as their subjects. ‘Paradigms and purposes’ asks: What theory applies to such difficult work? To answer this question it explores ancient discussions about tragedy and imitation in fifth-century bce Athens; Chartres and medieval aesthetics; the formal gardens of Versailles (1660–1715); and the premiere of Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, in 1882. It concludes with a discussion of Andy Warhol's Brillo Box, and a review of recent theories about art.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.