The Phenomenon of Species Transformation of Sculpture in the Contemporary Art Criticism Discourse


Background. The ambivalent artistic experience of the last decades is increasingly characterized by the formula of blurring the borders. This process was also reflected in the field of sculpture as a form of art. The changes also concern fundamental approaches to the creation of sculpture and its study, which raises a number of problems of theoretical and practical nature. Objectives. In view of this, the purpose of the article is to analyze coverage of the phenomenon of transformation of sculpture as a form of art in the 20th and early 21st centuries in domestic and foreign literary sources; outline the range of tasks that confront contemporary theory and practice of sculpture. Methods. Historical-chronological, analytical, synthetic-interpretative and comparative methods of analysis were used to solve these tasks. Results. The analysis of scientific sources on this topic gives grounds to state that it should be considered as a component of the general process of change of cultural and artistic paradigms (modernism and postmodernism, first of all), which caused cardinal transformations in all traditional forms of art and changed the understanding of the “modernity” category. But one should consider that tectonic shifts in the sphere of art were most reflected in the realm of sculpture. On the basis of a comparative analysis of Ukrainian and foreign art studies, we can note the unity of researchers' views on the main milestones and factors in the evolution of sculpture as a form of art and a radical transformation of sculptural aesthetics: scientific and technological revolution, Marcel Duchamp's invention of the ready-made and application of new materials and techniques, de-aesthetization of artistic activity, change of creative psychology of contemporary artists, their reorientation from an autonomous sculptural object to its interaction with the environment and the viewer. All scholars agree that artistic movements such as minimalism and conceptualism had the greatest influence on the contemporary understanding of art, sculpture in particular. They shifted the emphasis from the morphology of works of art to their function, from the emotionally-shaped comprehension of the world to a rational-logical model, according to which contemporary art is primarily perceived as an intellectual form of activity. The critical role of art criticism in the process of blurring the species and genre boundaries of the notion of sculpture, and as a consequence the professional and moral responsibility of contemporary art criticism for the objective research and interpretation of current artistic processes and phenomena should be also stated. Conclusions. The prospects for further exploration in this area are seen in the elaboration of the terminological aspect of the issue and the development of universal criteria for the classification of new types of sculpture and the latest three-dimensional artistic practices.

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