This book brings together two of the most important figures of twentieth-century criticism, Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, to consider a topic that was central to their thinking: the place of and reason for art in society and culture. Thijs Lijster takes us through points of agreement and disagreement between the two on such key topics as the relationship between art and historical experience, between avant-garde art and mass culture, and between the intellectual and the public. He also addresses the continuing relevance of Benjamin and Adorno to ongoing debates in contemporary aesthetics, such as the end of art, the historical meaning of art, and the role of the critic.
Thijs Lijster teaches philosophy of art at the University of Groningen. He contributed to Conceptions of Critique in Modern and Contemporary Philosophy (eds. R. Sonderegger and K. De Boer, Palgrave 2012), Institutional Attitudes. Instituting Art in a Flat World (ed. P. Gielen, Valiz 2013) and The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd edition (ed. M. Kelly, Oxford University Press 2014). He was awarded with the ABG/VN Essay Prize 2009, the Prize for Young Art Critics 2010 and the NWO/Boekman Dissertation Prize 2015.