Zulujora I would have had no interest in being an artist in the new period. It was this desire to erase the division between fine art and everyday objects by Pop Artists like Warhol and which harkens back to the readymades of Marcel Duchamp that obsessed Danto. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. And yet beauty has almost entirely disappeared from artistic reality in the twentieth century, as if attractiveness was somehow a stigma, with its crass commercial implications.
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Danto was an American philosopher and art critic who taught at Columbia University and devoted many years to following the New York art scene and writing on contemporary art and art history. But then something interesting happened in the art word — the artists of the s completely turned their backs on the type of art produced by the Abstract Expressionists. These new artists created in fresh, bold, revolutionary and even anti-aesthetic ways.
Both were indifferent to edification and exaltation, both appealed to a kind of hard-edge thinking. It was for me a particularly exhilarating moment. I would have had no interest in being an artist in the new period.
But I found it intoxicating to be a philosopher of art when art had shuffled off all the heavy metaphysical draperies the Abstract Expressionists were happy to wear as their intellectual garments, and were content to produce works that looked for all the world like commonplace objects of daily life.
It was this desire to erase the division between fine art and everyday objects by Pop Artists like Warhol and which harkens back to the readymades of Marcel Duchamp that obsessed Danto. With his prime interest in language and the philosophical definition of art, Danto was the right philosophical man at the right time.
Ironically, Danto sees aesthetics at work on some level since the Brillo boxes were more pleasing and enjoyable to look at than the other Warhol boxes, for instance, the Heinz Ketchup boxes. To underscore this visual enjoyment, Danto cites how, after a lifetime of living with all those drab government-issued boxes, the underground Soviet artists found the Pop Art absolutely beautiful! And yet beauty has almost entirely disappeared from artistic reality in the twentieth century, as if attractiveness was somehow a stigma, with its crass commercial implications.
But please be aware, the world Danto is speaking about here is the art world contained within museum walls and the ideas he delineates are from post-enlightenment and modern philosophers, most notably David Hume, Immanuel Kant, G.
Hegel, Roger Fry and G. What constitutes the cultural world for the mass of people, things like film, television and sports, are not even mentioned. But it is not an option for life. It is a necessary condition for life as we would want to live it. That is why beauty, unlike the other aesthetic qualities, the sublime included, is a value.
Non-conventional definitions take a concept like the aesthetic as an intrinsic characteristic in order to account for the phenomena of art. In terms of classificatory disputes about art , Danto takes a conventional approach. His "institutional definition of art" considers whatever art schools, museums, and artists get away with, regardless of formal definitions. Danto has written on this subject in several of his recent works and a detailed treatment is to be found in Transfiguration of the Commonplace.
The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art