What Art Is

What Art Is

Arthur C. Danto

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0300205716

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, this book challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning.

Art's Undoing: In the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism

The Fuzzy Line between Art and Life: Artistic Interferences in the Construction of Reality

Figures of History

Foucault for Architects

Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art


















I think they stopped looking, since I know of at least two properties inherent in artworks, and these then belong to the definition of art. All we need to do is hunt around a bit and find a property that works of art have in common. In the time of Wittgenstein, philosophers put great confidence in being able to pick out which creations are the artworks. Picking them out is really not to get very much out of them. You have to address them as works of art. You have to treat them as art critics

But in fact painting entered a glorious phase when it was revolutionized a decade after the Lumières’ moving picture show. For philosophers, Alberti’s criterion ended its reign, which somewhat justifies the political overtones of “revolution.” Let us now move to a paradigm of a revolutionary painting—Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, executed in 1907 but which remained in the artist’s studio for the next twenty years. Today it is a very familiar work, but in 1907 it was as if art had begun

orgiastically, today, it must be remembered that the humanists of Florentine culture were Platonists through and through—and it was for them that the ceiling was finally painted. It was the story of the rise and transcendence of sexual passion, and the glorification of the kind of love Christ allegedly had for humanity, in which, again, generation played no role. So Platonism comes into the interpretation, after all, but in ways having nothing to do with what was mere dirt—matter confused as

out of the mood of simply contemplating the embodiment of the quality,—just for example, as the Alps affected the people of old times, when the state of civilization was such that an impression of great power was inseparably associated with lively apprehension and terror,—then the object remains nonetheless esthetically good, although people in our condition are incapacitated from a calm esthetic contemplation of it. [213] Peirce derives the consequence that “there is no such thing as positive

children to her parents’ summer home in Virginia in 1946. There he was gripped by the similarity between the flowers in the meadows around the house and those he remembered from his homeland in Turkey, from which he and his mother were forced to flee for religious reasons. As an artist, he was first slavishly dedicated to the School of Paris, and particularly to Picasso. “If Picasso drips, I drip.” But he drew and painted the fields that so moved him through their similarity to those in his

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