Date of Award

Fall 1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Linda McGreevy

Committee Member

Lawrence Hatab

Committee Member

Dana Heller

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85B39


The prolific scholar and art critic, Donald Kuspit has frequently cited the works of Friedrich Nietzsche as a means to elucidate his art critical theories. This paper is an investigation of these citations in two of his most important works, The Critic is Artist: The Intentionality of Art, published in 1984, and The Existential Activist Painter: The Example of Leon Golub, published in 1986. In each of these two works many citations revolve around two Nietzschean concepts, the will to power and ressentiment. This paper first explores the relevance of using the philosophical work of Nietzsche as a point of departure for art critical theories, and follows with a brief discussion of the application of Nietzsche's theories to the visual arts. Finally, the citations used by Donald Kuspit are compared to Nietzsche's text, demonstrating their use to be in conflict with Nietzsche's theories.


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