Art Theory

Professor Dr. Kerstin Stakemeier

Since its origins in the 1960s to the present global network of contemporary art, art theory has also increasingly become a key interpretive format of artistic works. Artists, too, had to learn to approach their own works not only from a practical, but also from a theoretical point of view in order not to passively accept such interpretations. Art theory also allows artists to interpret their own works, thus enhancing their approach to work by adding a theoretical input into their practice of art. Art theory combines a logical, verbal and non-verbal and discursive approach to art. Art communication is the practical approach to these forms of addressing the subject in various public spheres – and beyond.

Art theory teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg therefore focuses on a historical and methodical appreciation of fundamental concepts and categories of modern art, such as autonomy, authorship, the category of the artwork and unlocking its aesthetic experience. At the same time, it may be regarded as a theoretical movement staking out, engaging and interacting with contemporary arts. In this respect, art theory is by nature an orientation discipline, which is open to fine arts students of painting, sculpture, photography, art in public spaces, gold- and silversmithing and also to art education and graphic design students with an emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice, production and reception, past and present, locality and globality, in relation both to personal artistic attitudes and the media, cultural and political aspects of its communication within the context of exhibitions. Art theory and communication are a joint contemporary practice with varying standards from the historical perspective – a practice whose standards we ourselves can change from that selfsame perspective.

A special focus of art theory and communication teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg is that of writing: penning their own texts is among the requirements increasingly demanded today of young artists from various disciplines. Diverse writing assignments, such as essays, narratives, theoretical appraisals, aphorisms and critical reviews are aimed at developing and widening the student's own appreciation of the omnipresent theory of (contemporary) art in the written word.


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