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The Madonna of the Future: Essays in a Pluralistic Art World Paperback – Sep 4 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (Sept. 4 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520230027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520230026
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.1 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,075,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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"HOW TO PHILOSOPHIZE WITH A HAMMER" IS THE SUBTITLE OF Nietzsche's late philosophical masterpiece The Twilight of the Idols, but the activity it describes turns out to be wittier and less Teutonic than it sounds. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of articles and essays, most of which must have been published in The Nation, for which Danto is an art critic. They cannot and will not reveal any structured and clearly defined approach of art. They are an impressionistic progress through Danto's own writings. But Danto ignores anything that does not go his way. He ignores Bosch who is the negation of his « beauty » definition of Renaissance art. He ignores all those who deal with « ugly » subjects, even Goya and his drawings about the horror of war and many other subjects. He ignores television and video art, directly on these media (there is one instance in this book of the use of video art in a museum presentation : that is not television and video art, that is the use of video and television technology within the museum). He even relegates video and television art in the « demotic » field, that is to say art for the people, and this approach, borrowed from Hegel, is absolutely condescendent towards the people : people can only suck on the television pacifier because they are not able to understand and enter the sphere of real art. Danto is an aristocrat, like all art critics. He thus ignores the audience of art, the people who are bombarded with artistic forms everyday in the supermarkets, in films, on TV, and in all kinds of mediatic channels. Danto is a typical university professor turned into an art critic and who advocates and illustrates the dominant vision that art is IN the artist, IN the official art circulating system, IN the critic's analysis of it. I dream of a real republic of arts, arts FOR the people, WITH the people and BY the people.Read more ›
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
A great book of art criticism Dec 2 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arthur Danto is best known for articulating a philosophy of art that takes its origin from his response to pop art in the 1960's but which he reads back, so to speak, to the non-representational experimentalism of the impressionists, modernists, and Dadaists. He has articulated it in books like "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace" and "The End of Art," and he recapitulates it in outline in his introductory chapter to this book, which is a collection of his art criticism from "The Nation" from the 1990s mainly. His broad point is that modern art has become philosophical -- it's not enough to talk about what the eye can take in anymore; it requires thought and contextualization. Otherwise, we would have no reason to consider an ordinary Brillo box less of an art object than Warhol's Brillo boxes. Putting it like that grossly oversimplifies his argument, but you see the point about the eye's insufficiency. When "The Nation" invited Danto to become its art critic, he had an opportunity to let us see examples of the kind of engagement that his theory requires, and we see that here in this volume. The magazine gave Danto space to be both descriptive of the art exhibitions that he reviewed and then to talk about their meaning in interesting ways that both accounted for their associations (if any) with earlier art and their place as objects with meaning in the world of the people who saw them exhibited . Danto's descriptive powers are remarkable -- he gives us a sense of what it must have been like to be in the exhibition space -- and the specificity of the descriptive writing makes us willing to trust the interpretive commentary. I say "trust" because it isn't a question of Danto insisting that he's "right" about the work -- he is very willing to write tentatively out of puzzlement when he is uncertain about what to make of something -- and he isn't mainly concerned to "evaluate" the art (although he does at times). He says, in effect, "This is worth thinking about." This is a splendid collection -- a constant stimulus to thought that invites us to keep our minds open to new experiences of art.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
He missed the communicational society of ours Jan. 19 2004
By Jacques COULARDEAU - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of articles and essays, most of which must have been published in The Nation, for which Danto is an art critic. They cannot and will not reveal any structured and clearly defined approach of art. They are an impressionistic progress through Danto's own writings. But Danto ignores anything that does not go his way. He ignores Bosch who is the negation of his « beauty » definition of Renaissance art. He ignores all those who deal with « ugly » subjects, even Goya and his drawings about the horror of war and many other subjects. He ignores television and video art, directly on these media (there is one instance in this book of the use of video art in a museum presentation : that is not television and video art, that is the use of video and television technology within the museum). He even relegates video and television art in the « demotic » field, that is to say art for the people, and this approach, borrowed from Hegel, is absolutely condescendent towards the people : people can only suck on the television pacifier because they are not able to understand and enter the sphere of real art. Danto is an aristocrat, like all art critics. He thus ignores the audience of art, the people who are bombarded with artistic forms everyday in the supermarkets, in films, on TV, and in all kinds of mediatic channels. Danto is a typical university professor turned into an art critic and who advocates and illustrates the dominant vision that art is IN the artist, IN the official art circulating system, IN the critic's analysis of it. I dream of a real republic of arts, arts FOR the people, WITH the people and BY the people. Not a submission of artists to the « uneducated » people but a constant permanent intercourse (and this implies exchange, and personal - even sexually and emotionally motivated - connection) between the artists and the wide audience that is bombarded with artistic productions. When I read Danto I think of what Spiro Agnew said about « ephete intellectuals ». Agnew was not a very kosher and clean character but he definitely had one point here : what is important in art is the effect it has on the widest audience possible through the various media that use artistic concepts and constructs to be effective. What I am interested in is not the self-satisfied belly-button titillation of artists or art critics but the real effect art forms have on people in general through channels that Danto does not even know, because he is totally locked up in his artistic ghetto. It's a shame because some of his ideas are interesting, orginal and even explosive. But he does not even know about it.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

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