Grotesque In Modern Art

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The reemergence of the grotesque in the arts was only one of a remarkable range of new expressive models through which the grotesque was extended, expanded, and reinvented in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These cultural vehicles for the grotesque included such disparate developments as psychoanalysis, photography, mass media, science fiction, ethnography, weapons of mass destruction, globalization, and virtual reality. The modern era witnessed an explosion of literary imagery that in various ways incorporated grotesque. A remarkable number of canonical works of modernism, include motifs from classical literature. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, Richard III by William Shakespeare,…show more content…
The neoclassical foundations of art history and aesthetics, with their emphasis on ideated beauty and rational inquiry, set up an intrinsic hostility toward grotesque. There is, however, an even unprecedented disjuncture and shifting boundaries, with the collision of cultures and scientific challenges repeatedly stripping away the veneer of familiar reality from the chaos of raw experience. The details lay down bare the answers to the mystery of the readers’ attraction to the gothic and grotesque. They help clear out the invoking of sympathy to the characters…show more content…
In recognition of the grotesque as the slipperiest of aesthetic qualities the flurry of nineteenth century writers addressing the grotesque did so by exploring its aesthetic, social and philosophical significance.
Theoretical attempts to iron down the meaning and implications of the grotesque have addressed it alternately as a quality of media or as a quality of interaction with media, or even alternatively as a quality of the act of mediation itself. As a quality of media the grotesque has proven particularly susceptible to the conceptual fluctuations of history.
Kayser,(1981) the father of modern grotesque theory, identifies the definition of the term as the central issue in the study of it, assessing it himself as the appearance of a reality that is simultaneously of and opposed to the worlds in which its audience take part. Kayser’s focus on definition is not novel, but the direction from which he approaches the issue
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