Authenticity in Painting: Remarks on Michael Fried’s Art History

Critical Inquiry 31 (3):575 (2005)
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My topic is authenticity in or perhaps as painting, not the authenticity of paintings; I know next to nothing about the problem of verifying claims of authorship. I am interested in another kind of genuineness and fraudulence, the kind at issue when we say of a person that he or she is false, not genuine, inauthentic, lacks integrity, and, especially when we say he or she is playing to the crowd, playing for effect, or is a poseur. These are not quite moral distinctions (no one has a duty to be authentic), but they are robustly normative appraisals, applicable even when such falseness is not a case of straight hypocrisy but of lack of self-knowledge or of self-deceit. (A person can be quite sincere and not realize the extent of her submission to the other’s expectations and demands.) This sort of appraisal also has a long history in post-Rousseauist reflections on the dangers of uniquely modern forms of social dependence, and they are prominent worries in the modern novel.



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Author Profiles

Joan Miller
Arizona State University
Robert Pippin
University of Chicago

References found in this work

Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot.Michael Fried - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 47 (2):200.
What was abstract art? (From the point of view of hegel).Robert Pippin - 2007 - In Stephen Houlgate (ed.), Hegel and the Arts. Northwestern University Press. pp. 1-24.
How Modernism Works: A Response to T. J. Clark.Michael Fried - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 9 (1):217-234.

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