The Continental Aesthetics Reader offers a good collection of texts that have been most influential in philosophical aesthetics, as well as in general art theory.
Starting out with extracts from Kant's Kritik der Urteilskraft (1790) and Hegels Ästhetik (1835), the 'Reader' contains chapters on phenomenology, Marxism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis and feminism. Some really wonderful chapters star in this collection, e.g. Julia Kristeva's 'Approaching Abjection', the opening chapter of her Powers of Horror (1982), or for instance Jürgen Habermas's 'Modernity versus Postmodernity, and Hans Georg Gadamer's 'Aesthetics and Hermeneutics'. Many of the texts do not address aesthetics, or art as such, though. They are more to be seen as having been very influential, especially in art theory after the 1960's, and still play an important role in contemporary debates on artistic practice and its social influences.
: Cazeaux, Clive. (ed.) London: Routledge. 2000.
ISBN: 0-415-2005-01-01 00:00:004-7
signature: 5.2 CAZ