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{{short description|Art or other objects that appeal to popular rather than high art tastes}}{{About|the art term}}{{Redirect|Tacky|the physical property|Sticky (disambiguation){{!}}Sticky|the Weird Al song|Tacky (song)}}{{Redirect|Kitch|the calypsonian|Lord Kitchener (calypsonian)}}{{too few opinions|date=January 2019}}{{Expand Portuguese|date=January 2019}}File:The Widow (Boston Public Library).jpg|thumb|The Widow, kitsch example of late-19th-century popular lithograph of a humorous painting{{elucidate|date=January 2019}} by (:en:Frederick Dielman|Frederick Dielman).]]Kitsch ({{IPAc-en|k|ɪ|tʃ}} {{Respell|KITCH}}; loanword from German),{{efn|Despite being a direct borrowing from modern German, kitsch is most often left uncapitalized and without italics (cf. Gestalt, Sonderweg). Pronunciation may also be colloquially realized as {{IPAc-en|k|ɪ|ʃ}} {{Respell|KISH}}.}} also called cheesiness or tackiness, is art or other objects that, generally speaking, appeal to popular rather than "high art" tastes. Such objects are sometimes appreciated in a knowingly ironic or humorous way.American Heritage DictionaryCambridge Advanced Learner's DictionaryOxford Living Dictionaries The word was first applied to artwork that was a response to certain divisions of 19th-century art with aesthetics that favored what later art critics would consider to be exaggerated sentimentality and melodrama. Hence, 'kitsch art' is closely associated with 'sentimental art'. Kitsch is also related to the concept of camp, because of its humorous and ironic nature.Kitsch art may often contain palatable, pleasant and romantic themes and visuals that few would find disagreeable, shocking or otherwise objectionable; it generally attempts to appeal to the human condition and its natural standards of beauty on a superficial level. It may also be quaint or "quirky" without being controversial.To brand visual art as "kitsch" is generally (but not exclusively) pejorative, as it implies that the work in question is gaudy, or that it serves a solely ornamental and decorative purpose rather than amounting to a work of what may be seen as true artistic merit. However, art deemed kitsch may be enjoyed in an entirely positive and sincere manner. The term is also sometimes applied to music or literature, or indeed any work.WEB, Scruton, Roger, Roger Scruton, Feb 21, 2014, A fine line between art and kitsch,weblink Forbes, 16 January 2017,


{{Expand section|date=January 2019}}File:Price Kensington Cottage Ware.jpg|thumb|A mass-produced teapot and milk tankard set, themed like an old cottagecottage{{Wiktionary}}As a descriptive term, "kitsch" originated in the art markets of Munich in the 1860s and the 1870s, describing cheap, popular, and marketable pictures and sketches.Calinescu, Matei. Five Faces of Modernity. Kitsch, p. 234. In Das Buch vom Kitsch (The Book of Kitsch), Hans Reimann defines it as a professional expression "born in a painter's studio".The study of kitsch was done almost exclusively in German until the 1970s, with Walter Benjamin being an important scholar in the field.BOOK, Menninghaus, Winfried, Andrew Benjamin, Charles Rice, Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity,weblink 2009,, 9780980544091, 39–58, On the Vital Significance of 'Kitsch': Walter Benjamin's Politics of 'Bad Taste', Kitsch is regarded as a modern phenomenon, coinciding with social changes in recent centuries such as the Industrial Revolution, urbanization, mass production, modern materials and mediums such as plastics, radio and television, the rise of the middle class and public education{{emdash}}all of which have factored into a perception of oversaturation of art produced for the popular taste.

Historical perspectives and analysis

Modernist writer Hermann Broch argues that the essence of kitsch is imitation: kitsch mimics its immediate predecessor with no regard to ethics—it aims to copy the beautiful, not the good.BOOK, Broch, Hermann, Geist and Zeitgeist: The Spirit in an Unspiritual Age. Six Essays by Hermann Broch, 2002, Counterpoint, 9781582431680, Evil in the Value System of Art, 13–40, According to Walter Benjamin, kitsch is, unlike art, a utilitarian object lacking all critical distance between object and observer; it "offers instantaneous emotional gratification without intellectual effort, without the requirement of distance, without sublimation".Kitsch is less about the thing observed than about the observer.BOOK, Eaglestone, Robert, The Broken Voice: Reading Post-Holocaust Literature, May 25, 2017, Oxford University Press, 978-0191084201, 155, According to Roger Scruton, "Kitsch is fake art, expressing fake emotions, whose purpose is to deceive the consumer into thinking he feels something deep and serious."Scruton, Roger. "A Point of View: The strangely enduring power of kitsch", BBC News Magazine, December 12, 2014Tomáš Kulka, in Kitsch and Art, starts from two basic facts that kitsch "has an undeniable mass-appeal" and "considered (by the art-educated elite) bad", and then proposes three essential conditions:
  1. Kitsch depicts a beautiful or highly emotionally charged subject;
  2. The depicted subject is instantly and effortlessly identifiable;
  3. Kitsch does not substantially enrich our associations related to the depicted subject.BOOK, Kitsch and art, Tomas, Kulka, Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, 1996, 978-0271015941, 837730812, JOURNAL, Kulka, Tomas, 1988-01-01, KITSCH, The British Journal of Aesthetics, 28, 1, 18–27, 10.1093/bjaesthetics/28.1.18, 0007-0904, JOURNAL, Higgins, Kathleen Marie, 1998-01-01, Review of Kitsch and Art, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 56, 4, 410–412, 10.2307/432137, 432137,



The Kitsch movement is an international movement of classical painters, founded{{clarify|Sources indicate that this was more of an aestethic statement than the founding of a movement|date=September 2014}} in 1998 upon a philosophy proposed by Odd NerdrumE.J. Pettinger weblink "The Kitsch Campaign" [Boise Weekly], December 29, 2004. and later clarified in his book On KitschDag Solhjell and Odd Nerdrum. On Kitsch, Kagge Publishing, August 2001, {{ISBN|8248901238}}. in cooperation with Jan-Ove Tuv and others, incorporating the techniques of the Old Masters with narrative, romanticism, and emotionally charged imagery.

See also

File:William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - Love on the Look Out (1890).jpg|thumb|150px|Love on the Look Out by William-Adolphe BouguereauWilliam-Adolphe Bouguereau
  • {{annotated link|Camp (style)|Camp}}
  • {{annotated link|Cliché}}
  • {{annotated link|Lowbrow (art movement)}}
  • {{annotated link|Museum of Bad Art}}
  • {{annotated link|Poshlost}}
  • {{annotated link|Prolefeed}}

Notable examples
  • {{annotated link|Dogs Playing Poker|Dogs Playing Poker}}
  • {{annotated link|Velvet Elvis}}
  • {{annotated link|William-Adolphe Bouguereau}}
  • {{annotated link|Christmas cards}}





Further reading

  • Adorno, Theodor (2001). The Culture Industry. Routledge. {{ISBN|0-415-25380-2}}
  • Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten (2008). "Wabi and Kitsch: Two Japanese Paradigms" in Æ: Canadian Aesthetics Journal 15.
  • Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten (2019) The New Aesthetics of Deculturation: Neoliberalism, Fundamentalism and Kitsch (Bloomsbury). Foreword by Olivier Roy.
  • Braungart, Wolfgang (2002). "Kitsch. Faszination und Herausforderung des Banalen und Trivialen". Max Niemeyer Verlag. {{ISBN|3-484-32112-1}}/0083-4564.
  • Cheetham, Mark A (2001). "Kant, Art and Art History: moments of discipline". Cambridge University Press. {{ISBN|0-521-80018-8}}.
  • Dorfles, Gillo (1969, translated from the 1968 Italian version, Il Kitsch). Kitsch: The World of Bad Taste, Universe Books. LCCN 78-93950
  • Elias, Norbert. (1998[1935]) "The Kitsch Style and the Age of Kitsch," in J. Goudsblom and S. Mennell (eds) The Norbert Elias Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Gelfert, Hans-Dieter (2000). "Was ist Kitsch?". Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in Göttingen. {{ISBN|3-525-34024-9}}.
  • Giesz, Ludwig (1971). Phänomenologie des Kitsches. 2. vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. [Partially translated into English in Dorfles (1969)]. Reprint (1994): Ungekürzte Ausgabe. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag. {{ISBN|3-596-12034-9}} / {{ISBN|978-3-596-12034-5}}.
  • Gorelik, Boris (2013). Incredible Tretchikoff: Life of an artist and adventurer. Art / Books, London. {{ISBN|978-1-908970-08-4}}
  • Greenberg, Clement (1978). Art and Culture. Beacon Press. {{ISBN|0-8070-6681-8}}
  • Holliday, Ruth and Potts, Tracey (2012) Kitsch! Cultural Politics and Taste, Manchester University Press. {{ISBN|978-0-7190-6616-0}}
  • Karpfen, Fritz (1925). "Kitsch. Eine Studie über die Entartung der Kunst". Weltbund-Verlag, Hamburg.
  • Kristeller, Paul Oskar (1990). "The Modern System of the Arts" (In "Renaissance Thought and the Arts"). Princeton University Press. {{ISBN|978-0-691-02010-5}}
  • Kulka, Tomas (1996). Kitsch and Art. Pennsylvania State University Press. {{ISBN|0-271-01594-2}}
  • Moles, Abraham (nouvelle édition 1977). Psychologie du Kitsch: L'art du Bonheur, Denoël-Gonthier
  • Nerdrum, Odd (Editor) (2001). On Kitsch. Distributed Art Publishers. {{ISBN|82-489-0123-8}}
  • Olalquiaga, Celeste (2002). The Artificial Kingdom: On the Kitsch Experience. University of Minnesota {{ISBN|0-8166-4117-X}}
  • Reimann, Hans (1936). "Das Buch vom Kitsch". Piper Verlag, München.
  • Richter, Gerd, (1972). Kitsch-Lexicon, Bertelsmann. {{ISBN|3-570-03148-9}}
  • Shiner, Larry (2001). "The Invention of Art". University of Chicago Press. {{ISBN|0-226-75342-5}}.
  • Thuller, Gabrielle (2006 and 2007). "Kunst und Kitsch. Wie erkenne ich?", {{ISBN|3-7630-2463-8}}. "Kitsch. Balsam für Herz und Seele", {{ISBN|978-3-7630-2493-3}}. (Both on Belser-Verlag, Stuttgart.)
  • Ward, Peter (1994). Kitsch in Sync: A Consumer's Guide to Bad Taste, Plexus Publishing. {{ISBN|0-85965-152-5}}
  • "Kitsch. Texte und Theorien", (2007). Reclam. {{ISBN|978-3-15-018476-9}}. (Includes classic texts of kitsch criticism from authors like Theodor Adorno, Ferdinand Avenarius, Edward Koelwel, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Hermann Broch, Richard Egenter, etc.).

External links

{{Commons category|Kitsch}} {{Aesthetics}}{{Authority control}}

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