Handbook of Research on Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Creativity

Edited by Kerry Thomas and Janet Chan

In this timely work, creativity is not defined by an ideal, rather it encompasses a range of theories, functions, characteristics, processes, products and practices that are associated with the generation of novel and useful outcomes suited to particular social, cultural and political contexts. Chapters present original research by international scholars from a wide range of disciplines including history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, education, economics and interdisciplinary studies. Their research investigates creativity in diverse fields including art, creative industries, aesthetics, design, new media, music, arts education, science, engineering and technology.
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Chapter 18: Time and the composition: creativity in modern and contemporary works of art

Terry Smith


By any definition of the terms ‘creativity’ and ‘work of art,’ every artwork—in whatever medium or mixture of mediums—is, was, and always will be, the product of a creative process. This tautology is so simple, so self-evident, and true in such a trivial way, that it draws scant attention from practitioners in any of the arts. Practitioners spend most of their time inside the creative process, and are usually so focused on the myriad challenges entailed by the specific project on which they are engaged that to look at the overall process from the outside—as an object of research, for example—would be a distraction. In their normal business, critics and historians of the various arts rarely focus on creativity as a general topic, largely for parallel reasons. The primary task of the critic is to articulate an informed, committed but also independent response to newly made works of art, or to reinterpretations of known works.

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