Is there any discussion about how art is highly individualistic with respect not to its content but the fact that most works of art, at least traditional art like painting, sculpture, etc., are created by single individuals, rather than groups? I've heard it said that Western art is highly individualistic while Eastern is not, and that this is a reflection of cultural differences; however, with respect to the artist as a single person, Eastern and Western art seem the same. Why is art such an individual creation? Perhaps one person has great vision and another great technique; why haven't there been numerous pairs like this throughout history who've worked together on creating paintings?

It's not clear to me that it is correct that Western art--even in media such as sculpture and painting--is indeed historically such an individual creation. In the Renaissance, there were workshops, with masters and apprentices; some contemporary artists, such as Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, have had certain of their works fabricated by others; the sculptor Richard Serra has his large steel pieces cast by industrial foundries. This is not to deny that the idea of the artist as individual creator doesn't persist, and that it doesn't capture the practice of many artists: I do, however, think that this very idea has a history that might well merit investigation that could illuminate its origin and power.

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