Lyotard and Kant on the State of the Sublime in Art

Adrián Kvokačka


In this paper, I address the relationship between Lyotard’s account of the sublime in art and  Kant’s own attempt at considering sublime art as a possible counterpart to fine art. Lyotard recognises the roots of modern art - and avant-garde particularly -in Kant’s account of the sublime.This is interesting, forit is generally assumed that Kant didn’t devise the notion to be applied to art as such. In the lack ofany explicit consideration of artistic sublime in Kant’s text, what (if any) could be the background for Lyotard’s analysis? My contention is that this reading of the Third Critique is only partially correct. Unlike what is commonly believed, much room is left in Kant’s text for consideration of the sublime in art. Kant himself envisages the possibility that the sublime be found in art and considers artistic representations of the sublime possible for art-forms. How can twentieth-century art be sublime in a Kantian way? And what role does Kant’s notion of aesthetic ideas play in Lyotard’s own account?

Palabras clave

Kant; Lyotard; sublime; art

Texto completo:



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