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In Joseph Koerner’s “Value,” he asserts taste demonstrates that source value lay not in the judged object but in the judging subject, we value the object not as it is, but as it is for us. In “Style,” Meyer Shapiro claims that modern art demonstrates style as language, abandoning fixed norms of style. In modern art, style relies on deeper content. A correlation exists here between style in modern art and value: as style is connected with changing modern attitudes, reflecting interests that don’t necessarily clearly appear in an art object’s subject matter, value is also connected with modern thought, as source value lay in judging subject. Value and style are both related to changing tastes.
Marx equates value to price, claiming that within the economics of art, nostalgia does not exist. In neoclassical economics people are autonomous, self-interested maximizers of utility. The value of an art object merely is in its particular manner of production. He claims that the product is a social hieroglyphic. Style is not autonomous, as it is a manifestation of culture as a whole, and a visible sign of its continuity. Shapiro demonstrates that formal elements and motives are not sufficient for characterizing modern style in art, as modern artists have abandoned more traditional methods, forming a kinship with the primitive. In Marx’s economics of art, value of an art object, although equated with price, is found within the specific manner of production. In modern art, as artists form a kinship with the primitive, style can also be found in the artworks production.
Value and style in modern art are correlated with the issue of iconoclasm. Modern art style rejects traditional artistic methodology, techniques, and subject matter. Value within contemporary art history is influenced by economics, anthropology, linguistics, and psychology. Here, the relationship between value and style is apparent: modern style is a visual manifestation of culture and value is measured by the way in which it is influenced by the above cultural institutions.