Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 366
Dewey argues that the creation of art is not solely about the final masterpiece, but instead, it is about the process that occurs and the experience an artist goes through while creating. He encourages all to view art as an aesthetic journey, involving the mind, body, and soul.
No experience of whatever sort is a unity unless it has esthetic quality.
Like the soil, mind is fertilized while it lies fallow, until a new burst of bloom ensues.
Drawing on his own psychological and biological theories, Dewey claims that man's experience is based on his relationship with his environment. He also asserts that art is not instant; rather, the creation of art requires emotion, reflection, and evaluation.
...An experience is a product, one might almost say bi-product, of continuous and cumulative interaction of an organic self with the world. There is no other foundation upon which esthetic theory and criticism can build.
In his book, Dewey illuminates the power of art to be a non-verbal form of communication as there is exchange between the artist and anyone who takes the time to view the piece. Just as a lecture, essay, poem, or book communicates a message, so does art.
Every art communicates because it expresses. It enables us to share vividly and deeply in meanings…
For communication is not announcing things… Communication is the process of creating participation, of making common what had been isolated and singular… the conveyance of meaning gives body and definiteness to the experience of the one who utters as well as to that of those who listen.
Dewey asserts that the relationship between the artist and the viewer is important in what is both conveyed and received.
The artist embodies in himself the attitude of the perceiver while he works.
Also, Dewey explains that an artist creates an experience, not just a finite piece of work, as art involves the senses fully.
The real work of an artist is to build up an experience that is coherent in perception while moving with constant change in its development.
For to perceive, a beholder must create his own experience. And this creation must include relations comparable to those which the original producer underwent.
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