The earliest controversies about the relationship between photography and art centered on whether photograph’s fidelity to appearances and dependence on a machine allowed it to be a fine art as distinct from merely a practical art. Throughout the nineteenth century, the defence of photography was identical with the struggle to establish it as a fine art. Against the charge that photography was a soulless, mechanical copying of reality, photographers asserted that it was instead a privileged way of seeing, a revolt against commonplace vision, and no less worthy an art than painting.
Ironically, now that photography is securely established as a fine art, many photographers find it pretentious or irrelevant to label it as such. Serious photographers variously claim to be finding, recording, impartially observing, witnessing events, exploring themselves-anything but making works of art. They are no longer willing to debate whether photography is or is not a fine art, except to proclaim that their own work is not involved with art. It shows the extent to which they simply take for granted the concept of art imposed by the triumph of Modernism: the better the art, the more subversive it is of the traditional aims of art.
Photographers’ disclaimers of any interest in making art tell us more about the harried status of the contemporary notion of art than about whether photography is or is not art. For example, those photographers who suppose that, by taking pictures, they are getting away from the pretensions of art as exemplified by painting remind us of those Abstract Expressionist painters who imagined they were getting away from the intellectual austerity of classical Modernist painting by concentrating on the physical act of painting. Much of photography’s prestige today derives from the convergence of its aims with those of recent art, particularly with the dismissal of abstract art implicit in the phenomenon of Pop painting during the 1960’s. Appreciating photographs is a relief to sensibilities tired of the mental exertions demanded by abstract art. Classical Modernist painting-that is, abstract art as developed in different ways by Picasso, Kandinsky, and Matisse-presupposes highly developed skills of looking and a familiarity with other paintings and the history of art. Photography, like Pop painting, reassures viewers that art is not hard; photography seems to be more about its subjects than about art.
Photography, however, has developed all the anxieties and self-consciousness of a classic Modernist art. Many professionals privately have begun to worry that the promotion of photography as an activity subversive of the traditional pretensions of art has gone so far that the public will forget that photography is a distinctive and exalted activity-in short, an art.
1. What is the author mainly concerned with? The author is concerned with
[A]. defining the Modernist attitude toward art.
[B]. explaining how photography emerged as a fine art.
[C]. explaining the attitude of serious contemporary photographers toward photography as art and placing those attitudes in their historical context.
[D]. defining the various approaches that serious contemporary photographers take toward their art and assessing the value of each of those approaches.
2. Which of the following adjectives best describes “the concept of art imposed by the triumph of Modernism” as the author represents it in lines 12-13?
[A]. Objective [B]. Mechanical. [C]. Superficial. [D]. Paradoxical.
3. Why does the author introduce Abstract Expressionist painter?
[A]. He wants to provide an example of artists who, like serious contemporary photographers, disavowed traditionally accepted aims of modern art.
[B]. He wants to set forth an analogy between the Abstract Expressionist painters and classical Modernist painters.
[C]. He wants to provide a contrast to Pop artist and others.
[D]. He wants to provide an explanation of why serious photography, like other contemporary visual forms, is not and should not pretend to be an art.
4. How did the nineteenth-century defenders of photography stress the photography?
[A]. They stressed photography was a means of making people happy.
[B]. It was art for recording the world.
[C]. It was a device for observing the world impartially.
[D]. It was an art comparable to painting.
1. C. 說明當代嚴肅的攝影家對攝影作為藝術的態度，并把他們這些態度放在歷史的進程來觀察。見文章大意。他們先為攝影是否是藝術而爭辯，后為否定其藝術而努力。重點放在主題上。
A. 界定顯得主義者對藝術的態度。 B. 解釋攝影是如何作為美術出現的。第一段涉及，見難句譯注2。 D. 界定當代嚴肅攝影家對待他們藝術所具有的各種觀點，并評定每種觀點的價值。這三項只是文內提到的某些方面，不是主要的。
2. D. 矛盾的。見難句譯注3。
A. 客觀的。 B. 機械的。 C. 表面的。
3. A. 他要列舉這樣藝術家的例子，他們象當代嚴肅的攝影家一樣拋棄了傳統上被接受的現代藝術目的。見第三段第二句：“舉例說，這些認為通過拍照可以擺脫繪畫所表現的藝術的矯飾的攝影家，使我們想起了那些抽象表現主義繪畫的嚴肅的思想。”
B. 他想在抽象表現主義畫家和古典現代主義畫家之間找出相似點。 C. 他要在流行藝術家和其它藝術家之間作一個對比。 D. 他想解釋為什么嚴肅攝影，象其它當代視覺形式一樣不是藝術，而且也不應當充作藝術。
4. D. 攝影是一種藝術，可以和油畫相比美。見難句譯注2。
A. 他們強調攝影是使人們快樂的手段。 B. 是記錄世界的藝術。 C. 攝影是公正觀察世界的工具。
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