On Tuesday October 20 at the Karl der Grosse, I’m pleased to announce that the Zurich Salon will be debating what is art and what is connoisseurship and how do we distinguish false, bad or mediocre art from a masterpiece. What makes something qualify as art as opposed to kitsch? After all, regardless of how we assess art’s intrinsic value, art certainly has a price. Is everybody’s opinion equal?
Connoisseurship is a slippery concept, but in simple terms a connoisseur is an expert judge. In the field of art, it means particularly the ability to distinguish the work of different artists, but can include knowledge of the physical characteristics of works of art (technique, condition, restoration), and their place in art history (period, style, school). The term was first used widely in the eighteenth century, often as a term of derision against new ‘experts’ who were usurping the traditional authority of artists to judge each other’s work. However, modern academic art history has tended to reject connoisseurship, with a turn towards theory and social history. To find out more click here.