Martin Buber's I and thou as model for relationship between artisit and visual artwork



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Texas Tech University


Using existentialist philosopher Martin Buber's concept of I-Thou relation as a metaphorical model for artistic process, this study proposed to examine and compare six prominent art education methodologies grounded in the pragmatic tradition, for purposes of illumination and expansion of the field's theoretical base. The research method was a composite, in part a descriptive study in art education and in part a philosophical study in aesthetics. The literature review was purposely limited to provide a clearer picture of the field's basic underlying assumptions regarding artistic process, which most commonly affect the developing educational philosophies of prospective art teachers. It was concluded that art education textbook methodologies have generally tended to focus primarily upon the psychological, practical, and technical nature of an individual's artistic process and/or experience and less on what might be termed its spiritual and humanistic aspects. More specifically, this study has concluded that artistic process involves or is a type of bipolar, interactive form of communication, which may take the form of either a dialogic relationship or a problem solving activity. In addition, it was concluded that the art object is a result of the artist's intention to create it and is produced, at least in part, through his ability to identify and/or relate to a medium and some particular experience he wants to express. As such, the artwork may be considered, among other things, either a "by-product" of artistic process or an active participant in it. Implications of the study include the need for development of art education courses within higher education, dealing specifically with aesthetic (in conjunction with psychological) theories and the roles they play in determining what one actually teaches and/or learns about art. Specific implications for artmaking include that of placing new emphasis on the artwork as an essential participant in the dialogue of both the artistic process and the comprehensive art experience of the individual.



Buber, Martin, 1878-1965, Art -- Study and teaching, Art -- Philosophy