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Single Idea 20419

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 5. Art as Expression]

Full Idea

One cannot really know, or be conscious of, what it is that one is going to express, and then set about expressing it; indeed if one is genuinely conscious of it then one has already expressed it.

Gist of Idea

We don't already know what to express, and then seek means of expressing

Source

Gary Kemp (Croce and Collingwood [2012], 1)

A Reaction

That pretty conclusively demolishes the idea that art is expression. I picture Schubert composing at the piano: he doesn't feel an emotion, and then hunt for its expression on the keyboard; he seeks out expressive phrases by playing.

Book Reference

'Key Thinkers in Aesthetics', ed/tr. Giovannelli,Alessandro [Continuum 2012], p.102

Related Idea

Idea 20418 The horror expressed in some work of art could equallly be expressed by other means [Kemp]