One of the defining characteristics of the later Heidegger is the concern for art and its place in humanity’s relation to Being.
In his Nietzsche lectures, as in his lecture on the origin of the work of art, Heidegger constructs a hermeneutical picture of the world in which art, the artistic lifestyle and the image of the artist play an important role. The world itself, Heidegger presupposes, is merely a dynamic set of relations, properties and attributes which construes the entirety of human possibilities, thus, of human meanings and significances. As such, Heidegger claims, it is hidden and forgotten, undisclosed and unapproachable in its entirety, buried six feet under several layers of metaphysical misconstructions and religious anxieties. The world of art, on the other hand, offers resolution and disclosure. It reveals the basic fields of significance, which are otherwise repressed and ignored. Art and the way of the artist reveal not only the totality of meanings but also and mainly the mere possibility of meaning at all. A work of art, Heidegger argues, reveals the very event of disclosure – the disclosure-as-such – and not only the radical tension that specifically articulates the world of references and relations.
Thus, Heidegger seeks to comprehend the meticulous way in which art itself as such discloses disclosure by revealing disclosure in the work of art.