Art has come to connote something that is eclectic and unpredictable. Art may be concerned with the aesthetic organization of visual elements, or it may defy conventional aesthetics; it may seek to interpret visual experience, or it may interpret psychological phenomenon that have no visual manifestation; it may have significant social content, or it may not. Art defies generalizations about its form, but welcomes more readily a characterization of its spirit. Art is inquiring, open-ended, illuminating, often startling. Art is very close to the central concerns and experiential reality of the artist. While it is increasingly difficult to say what art is, it is not difficult to have a clear intuitive awareness of what art feels like in relation to other basic human activities. In the context of social mechanization and pervasive pressure to ideological conformity, the importance of this intuition about the artistic spirit may surpass the importance of particular works of art.
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