The Beauty of Distance in Kant’s aesthetics

I was lucky enough to have recently visited the 17th Biennale of Sydney with this year’s theme THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age. One aspect of the theme is the intention to consider the distance between Australia and other major countries in a positive light by comparing it with the notion of distance that has been held central to the experience of beauty in traditional aesthetic theory. This is exemplified by the notion of disinterestedness in Kant’s theory of the beautiful described in The Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790).

Finnish film and photography artist Salla Tykkä explores the relationship between the colour white and beauty in two films presented at the biennale: Victoria which shows the life cycle of a giant water lily and Airs Above the Ground which records the training of magnificent Lipizzaner stallions. Her investigation is inspired by the aesthetic theory of Victorian artist John Ruskin. Continue reading “The Beauty of Distance in Kant’s aesthetics”

Shaun Greenhalgh: Master Forger

In January and February of this year the Victoria and Albert Museum ran the Metropolitan Police Service’s Investigation of Fakes and Forgeries exhibition that showcased around 100 forged paintings and sculptures. The most infamous works on the display were those of Shaun Greenhalgh who is currently serving a four year eight month prison sentence for forging works over a 17 year period from 1989 to 2006. Among the many works that Greenhalgh created and sold was a small alabaster statue named the Armana Princess which was sold for £440,000 to the Bolton Museum. The museum believed the statue to be an authentic Egyptian art piece from the reign of Akhenaten (ca. 1352-1336 BC). Another prominent fake is The Faun (pictured above) which was attributed to Gauguin and purchased by the Art Institute of Chicago from a private dealer who also believed the piece to be authentic. Continue reading “Shaun Greenhalgh: Master Forger”