Lay Perceptions of Two Modern Artworks

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Mikko Lagerspetz
Publisher: Brill
Place: Biggleswade Bedfordshire SG18 8TQ
Publication year: 2016
Journal: Art and Perception
Volume number: 4
Start page: 107
End page: 125
eISSN: 2213-4913


Abstract

The paper is based on 82 open-ended interviews conducted by as many students during 2006–2013.
The respondents were presented with pictures of two artworks, The Persistence of Memory (1931) by
Salvador Dalí and Which Link Fails First? (1992) by Teemu Mäki, a Finnish contemporary artist.
They were asked to comment and compare the two pictures and tell which one they liked better. The
respondents’ spontaneous comments show different aspects of how an artwork is perceived and evaluated.
The interviews were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. As the result of in vivo
coding, 40 variables were created for use in a content analysis. The respondents focused on different
things when evaluating the two artworks. When commenting Dalí’s painting, they paid attention on
its affective and sensory characteristics, while Mäki’s work was discussed primarily in terms of its
message and perceived lack of professional quality. In parallel, a selection of interviews was analysed
in order to reveal the temporal sequence of discussing and evaluating different aspects of the paintings.
The analysis showed three ways of discussing, which were called naïve, scholarly, and deliberative.
The temporally structured model of aesthetic appreciation and judgement suggested in 2004 by
Leder and his co-workers was used as a heuristic device for an analysis of the shifts of attention that
take place when a discourse is created and anchored in perception. Both cognitive psychology and
phenomenological sociology emphasize the dependence of perception on context and intention; there
is reason to take that theoretical starting point seriously.

Last updated on 2019-19-10 at 03:16