Kitsch: From Rejection to Acceptance—On the Changing Meaning of Kitsch in Today’s Cultural Production (Introduction)

Paco Barragán, Max Ryynänen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

One can read the history of kitsch and the history of kitsch theories by accentuating either everyday aesthetics (knickknacks) or pseudo art/bad art. The authors have divided their introduction to the topic by accentuating first everyday aesthetics (this part includes a detailed history of kitsch research) and then art—especially the wave of contemporary art that has lately been knocking on the doors of kitsch. Three historical stages of kitsch are discussed. The first stage discusses the topic and gives (e.g., bad, sentimental art and interior design) negative attention only. This phase ends with Clement Greenberg’s essay “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (1939). The second wave discusses kitsch in a curious manner, mainly around the 1960s. And the contemporary stage of the discussion is often positive (starting from the 1990s). In the part where contemporary art is analyzed, art’s kitschy side is traced historically to the Dutch art market of the seventeenth century. But today’s art world, which is strongly invaded by kitsch, gains the main attention. How did kitsch become so central to contemporary art? What forms has it taken there?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Changing Meaning of Kitsch: From Rejection to Acceptance
EditorsMax Ryynänen, Paco Barragán
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages1-62
Number of pages62
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-16632-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-16631-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books

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