Read The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art by Arthur C. Danto Online

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Danto simply and entertainingly traces the evolution of the concept of beauty over the past century and explores how it was removed from the definition of art. Beauty then came to be regarded as a serious aesthetic crime, whereas a hundred years ago it was almost unanimously considered the supreme purpose of art. Beauty is not, and should not be, the be-all and end-all ofDanto simply and entertainingly traces the evolution of the concept of beauty over the past century and explores how it was removed from the definition of art. Beauty then came to be regarded as a serious aesthetic crime, whereas a hundred years ago it was almost unanimously considered the supreme purpose of art. Beauty is not, and should not be, the be-all and end-all of art, but it has an important place, and is not something to be avoided.Danto draws eruditely upon the thoughts of artists and critics such as Rimbaud, Fry, Matisse, the Dadaists, Duchamp, and Greenberg, as well as on that of philosophers like Hume, Kant, and Hegel. Danto agrees with the dethroning of beauty as the essence of art, and maintains with telling examples that most art is not, in fact, beautiful. He argues, however, for the partial rehabilitation of beauty and the removal of any critical taboo against beauty. Beauty is one among the many modes through which thoughts are presented to human sensibility in art: disgust, horror, sublimity, and sexuality being among other such modes....

Title : The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art
Author :
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ISBN : 9780812695403
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art Reviews

  • Glenn Russell
    2018-11-06 22:11

    Arthur C. Danto (1924-2013) 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. ‘The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art’ consists of eight essays: Introduction: The Aesthetics of the Brillo Box 1) Beauty and the Philosophical Definition of Art 2) The Intractable Avant-Garde 3) Beauty and Beautification 4) Internal and External Beauty 5) Beauty and Politics 6) Three Ways to Look at Art, and 7) The Beautiful and the Sublime. Each essay addresses a different facet of Danto’s take on art, philosophy of art, art history and beauty. To offer a flavor of what one will encounter in these pages, below are several comments along with author’s quotes from the introductory essay, the essay providing the tone and context for the entire collection:Danto came to New York and Columbia University’s philosophy department in the early 1950s. He tells us he was required to study aesthetics and enjoyed the work of the city’s Abstract Expressionists, but couldn’t see the connection between what he was learning at school and the actual art produced by those artists. So, aligning himself with the university’s analytic philosophers, he concerned himself with philosophy’s connection with science and language. But then something interesting happened in the art word – the artists of the 1960s 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. As Danto writes, “It was as if (the new art) and analytic philosophy were made for one another. 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.”Anyone familiar with 20th century American art knows the most famous (or infamous) Pop Art looking like a commonplace object – Andy Warhol’s Brillo cartons. 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! However, this being said, Danto notes the reality of modern art when he writes, “The philosophical conception of aesthetics was almost entirely dominated by the idea of beauty, and this was particularly the case in the 18th century – the great age of aesthetics – when apart from the sublime, the beautiful was the only aesthetic quality actively considered by artists and thinkers. 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.”The 7 essays that follow address various phases and dimensions of modern Western culture’s expression of art and beauty (and lack of beauty), particularly in the 20th century. 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.F.W. Hegel, Roger Fry and G.E. Moore. What constitutes the cultural world for the mass of people, things like film, television and sports, are not even mentioned. Perhaps as a way to pique interest in this carefully thought-out book, I will quote the last lines from the last essay on ‘Beauty and Sublimity’: “Beauty is an option for art and not a necessary condition. 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.”

  • Dora
    2018-10-26 05:11

    I was pleasantly surprised at how fluently Danto writes! He has a unique style, especially in comparison to other philosophers and art historians, who tend to use a kind of enigmatic metalanguage . Danto is much more blunt and even funny at certain times, yet his ideas are immensely important, perhaps even revolutionary for art theory. This just spurred me to continue reading some of his other works.

  • Marlene
    2018-11-02 01:13

    Salvo que es un poquito repetitivo me ha gustado mucho. Una pega seria sobre la edición española que he leído: me parece increíble publicar un libro sobre arte con apenas 4 fotos pequeñas en blanco y negro.(Las pullas a Lyotard me hacen gracia ojalá más).

  • Iftekhar Mallick
    2018-11-07 01:19

    I read it during my Undergraduate Psychology classes. It gave me some good insights to prepare my course project paper, "What is Beauty: I’ll Eat You Orange Lips".