My opinion is: yes. Very much so!
Of course one can be divided over what is beautiful and what is not, just as much as over what is art and what isn´t, but in my opinion, beauty in art has a purpose, now more than ever: To show that life is worth while, that there is a value higher than wealth, and a happiness which is not based on material possessions.
Beauty satisfies our human need for harmony and spirituality. Creativity and mastery of the craft are the other two important components art needs to have, in order to qualify as such, but if beauty is missing and replaced by brutal, obscene or outrageous content, the work of art, if it can be called that, will not be a positive force but a negative one.
If you ask me, artists should not endorse the ugliness and alienation that modern life presents us, by creating work that mirrors these negative aspects. Why emphasize what´s depressive and disturbing? The media do that pretty well, why should artists copy them?
After almost a century of ugliness being favored over beauty in the arts, don´t you think it is time to go back to that place where the real and the ideal can exist in harmony, where an artist, through his or her ability, can bring beauty to a place that lacks it?