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Custodians of Beauty

by Dingeman Kuilman (1656 words)

Dingeman Kuilman examines how art has divorced itself from aesthetic considerations and argues for a return to beauty as a measure of artistic merit.

Some time ago the jury of the Rotterdam Design Prize outlined the following factors in its selection criteria: vision, authorship, execution, context and international relevance. According to the explanatory notes, the domestic jury added execution as a criterion because of the increased significance of craftsmanship and the process of realisation. Strikingly, any association with the aesthetic quality of a design—its beauty—was avoided. The domestic and international jury members seemed to have found it difficult to give beauty a clear place in their adjudication.

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