The Awful Truth About What Art Is
By Donald Brook
In the Awful Truth About What Art Is Donald Brook identifies art as the engine of cultural evolution. He argues, wittily and persuasively, that cultural kinds such as the cubist painting and the food mixer evolve by imitation and adaptation just as biological species evolve by replication and adaptation.
Turning from abstraction to the artworld, he shows that things may be recognised by the artworld as works of art for any reason, or for no reason. The artworld may classify the switching of a light bulb on and off as a work of art if it chooses. Art (when it is properly understood) and works of art (as they are recognised by the artworld) are only accidentally related.
Donald Brook is Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts at Flinders University of South Australia. He has influenced generations of students smart enough to recognise that here is a truly original thinker. Now in his late eighties, he is an iconoclastic living treasure.