Arts : Why Beauty Matters

I recently saw this amazing video by BBC and I wanted to share with you and have your opinion. The video is quite long, but very very interesting if you like arts, architecture and music!

“Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives.

In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert.

Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the centre of our civilisation.”


(video after the jump)


There are 12 comments

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    • blog

      Paul: ya maybe for you…but the majority want to hear about sex, and men and see sexy images…
      But sometimes I like to post about something with more depth 🙂

  1. tantrikatholipig

    tkx Dave for sharing this so important video,
    though a bit long in the fashion ot a doc or a class(that a I particularly like too)

  2. Jonathan

    It is funny because when I was a kid I used to live by the house where the david statues were laid out and thought the owner was very classy and appreciated art. Now I realized it was rather tacky and the owner just wanted to show off his wealth. He no longer lives in the house and the statues are gone. This is the hancock park area in los angeles btw.

  3. Jon

    It’s an interesting point of view. I think his personal boundaries for what what can be considered beautiful are more constricted than mine. There’s also a hint of a slight anti-American bias, singling out Jackson Pollock and Louis Sullivan as purveyors of “ugly”. Personally, their work is quite beautiful too me. He doesn’t address one of the central defining events in the evolution of modernism: World War I. War is invariably ugly, but the First World War was exceptionally ugly. The creative artist’s reaction to that is not going to be to paint more impressionist landscapes. It prompts a reevaluation of the value of a purely sensual view of beauty. Ironically in this discussion, modernism is quintessentially a formalist approach to art. It’s a search for a transcendent sense of order in a world that appeared increasingly chaotic. Mark Rothko, Ansel Adams, Anton Webern and many other artists were working towards something that was transcendent, but was looking beyond “pretty” to find “beauty”. I agree with the premise that beauty has a spiritual side to it. I just don’t agree on what he thinks is ugly and the idea that beauty has been wholly cast aside after 1930.

  4. Dave

    I guess Roger Scruton (ugly last name) speaks for all people, all tastes, all cultures and all points of view, as to what beauty is. I’ve learned from him that there is only one definition of beauty – his. Thank you Roger Scruton for showing me that the things I have found inspiring and moving were actually ugly and worthless.

  5. Dave

    Blogger – I just read your comment to Paul about posting something with more depth. I think that’s great and I applaud you for wanting to add variety.
    Unfortunately, this BBC video is the opposite of deep. It’s one sided and shallow. A post with true depth would provide both points of view, not just the view of a narrow minded, stuck-in-the-1900’s prig.
    Who has more depth – someone who can appreciate the full spectrum of visual history or someone who thinks “good” art and architecture ended at the beginning of the 20th century?

  6. Steve

    Beauty is subjective and art is constantly evolving. What appears “timeless” to one generation may not stand the test of time.

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