Read After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History by Arthur C. Danto Online


Over a decade ago, Arthur Danto announced that art ended in the sixties. Ever since this declaration, he has been at the forefront of a radical critique of the nature of art in our time. After the End of Art presents Danto's first full-scale reformulation of his original insight, showing how, with the eclipse of abstract expressionism, art has deviated irrevocably from theOver a decade ago, Arthur Danto announced that art ended in the sixties. Ever since this declaration, he has been at the forefront of a radical critique of the nature of art in our time. After the End of Art presents Danto's first full-scale reformulation of his original insight, showing how, with the eclipse of abstract expressionism, art has deviated irrevocably from the narrative course that Vasari helped define for it in the Renaissance. Moreover, he leads the way to a new type of criticism that can help us understand art in a posthistorical age where, for example, an artist can produce a work in the style of Rembrandt to create a visual pun, and where traditional theories cannot explain the difference between Andy Warhol's Brillo Box and the product found in the grocery store. Here we are engaged in a series of insightful and entertaining conversations on the most relevant aesthetic and philosophical issues of art, conducted by an especially acute observer of the art scene today.Originally delivered as the prestigious Mellon Lectures on the Fine Arts, these writings cover art history, pop art, "people's art," the future role of museums, and the critical contributions of Clement Greenberg--who helped make sense of modernism for viewers over two generations ago through an aesthetics-based criticism. Tracing art history from a mimetic tradition (the idea that art was a progressively more adequate representation of reality) through the modern era of manifestos (when art was defined by the artist's philosophy), Danto shows that it wasn't until the invention of Pop art that the historical understanding of the means and ends of art was nullified. Even modernist art, which tried to break with the past by questioning the ways of producing art, hinged on a narrative.Traditional notions of aesthetics can no longer apply to contemporary art, argues Danto. Instead he focuses on a philosophy of art criticism that can deal with perhaps the most perplexing feature of contemporary art: that everything is possible....

Title : After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780691002996
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 264 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History Reviews

  • David Williamson
    2018-11-05 02:11

    Philosophers tend to make the worst art theorist and artists tend to make terrible philosophers (or at least when they try to put it into language). Danto on the other hand has actually read art theory and criticism, so does actually know what he is talking about.This book had been sitting on my shelf for quite awhile, as I had grown sick of art theory and especially art/aesthetics philosophy. After being encouraged to read this however, I have taken a great interest in Danto’s work on art and philosophy (even if he is influenced by Hegel!) and do wish I had read this while at University, as I tend to agree with the majority of it. Danto’s book would have given me more confidence to stand my ground against art tutors (as they can be quite mean at Goldsmiths!), as well as validating my own theory of each new art medium (film, video, installation, computer, internet) tending to imitate the Modernist doctrine, before being institutional accepted (ie by the Museums), as in the tedious art video’s in the 80s and 90s discarding narrative or anything cinematic for themes and scenario on time, space and light, etc. All in the name to be taken seriously!This book will also answer most people’s queries on why art is like it is, why it has any value and why it will never return to its old values, or at least not in its former guise of painting landscapes and pretty flowers.

  • Jana
    2018-10-22 01:35

    I wouldn't say I "liked it," but it merits 3 stars because the ideas (though dated) are relevant for artists (as a record of what kind of muck we've since climbed out of). I continue to have difficulty with this sort of application of theory because it lends itself so easily to the purposes of those who spout fundamentalist dogma... what with the Puritanical fear of "pleasure" and a long list of dos and don'ts for artists. I saw so many artists stifled because they came to art through theory (rather than applying theory to art), which turned me off all theory for a time. That, and this sort of thinking was paralyzing my own art practice.

  • Michael
    2018-10-20 03:32

    As I recall, a great book despite my predilection to not really give a crap about some deep, brooding, probing interrogation about a freakin' Rothko painting or, God forbid, yet another Calder sculpture. Perhaps my disinterest is due to my status as redneck...or perhaps, as Danto's writing speculates, it's because of the destruction of some type of "master narrative" that essentially provides(ed) certain, unnamed boundaries within which to evaluate "art". Interestingly, he eschews a common formula of Warhol+Brillo Boxes = end of art tradition (nor even Duchamp's urinal), by personally choosing some Lichenstein comic strip-cum-painting published in a mid-fifties art journal. Whatever the case, he makes a compelling "narrative" for how art is now basically in a vacuum, only occasionally grounded by whatever socio-politico statement it may wish to proffer or, more often, a work simply relies on the Clement Greenburg criticized "far-out" aspect. My enthusiasm likely rests with the fact that most art, say, post-cubism or post-mid-Mondrian has usually failed to elicit in me anything beyond museum fatigue, and here, Danto constructs an argument that appeared to parallel and/or support my nausea with all of this flag-in-the-toilet and paper-mached-sidewalk-cow jazz. But, then again, I'm just a redneck...

  • James
    2018-10-29 05:33

    This is where Danto discusses his version of Hegel's "end of art" thesis. He first enunciated the thesis in a 1984 essay called "The End of Art", and developed it more recently in this work. To explain this thesis it may help first to say what Danto does not mean by it. He is not claiming that no-one is making art anymore; nor is he claiming that no good art is being made any more. But he thinks that a certain history of western art has come to an end, in about the way that Hegel suggested it would. He summarizes that history as follows:"...the master narrative of the history of art--in the West but by the end not in the West alone--is that there is an era of imitation, followed by an era of ideology, followed by our post-historical era in which, with qualification, anything goes.. . .In our narrative, at first only mimesis [imitation] was art, then several things were art but each tried to extinguish its competitors, and then, finally, it became apparent that there were no stylistic or philosophical constraints. There is no special way works of art have to be. And that is the present and, I should say, the final moment in the master narrative. It is the end of the story" (AEA p.47).

  • JabJo
    2018-11-05 00:18

    Reading this book was like having an enjoyable late night coffee with a friend, back-and-forthing about art till the wee hours. Mind you, a friend with a pretty elevated philosophical vocabulary; but still, it didn’t feel didactic, dogmatic, or even argumentative. The author offers his opinions and explains his reasoning, the idea being that it’s not really art that’s dead, but that there’s been a big change in how we see and what we define as art. Context and the historical/cultural point of view make all the difference. A good example would be the chapter on ‘monochrome’ art: various artists who have painted a square canvas in one solid colour--and there have been quite a few over different periods in art. But because they’ve done it for very different reasons, you can’t define the square monochromes as one single style, any more than a skinny-man Giacometti sculpture isn’t in the same category as a skinny-man tribal African sculpture. The first couple of chapters are a bit of a slog and often a bit repetitious—he explains his idea, then keeps rephrasing it (Ok, I got it the first time!) and I didn’t know if I’d keep on, but he warms up as he goes, illustrating his ideas with examples and interesting personal speculations. It always felt as though he would be interested to hear other people's ideas. In the end, I really did feel as if I’d had a good conversation with an art-loving friend.

  • Bill Gusky
    2018-11-04 21:17

    Seminal. You need this book.

  • Kate
    2018-10-18 21:25

    Changed entirely how I think about art. It started me thinking for myself.

  • Camila
    2018-10-19 00:27

    Ok. El libro va de cómo el arte “termina” y del arte, que en realidad ya no sería arte porque esto ya terminó, que empieza cuando termina el arte. Se entendió? Personalmente creo que esta teoría es muy cierta, pero los términos usados son un tanto fatalistas, o no son los mas adecuados. Bien podría decirse que el relato del arte terminó, mas no el arte en sí. O que el arte cambio su forma de moverse dentro del discurso histórico, dejo de ser lineal para convertirse en espontáneo. Pero volviendo a la teoría. Si, creo que esta teoría es muy cierta. El arte ya no puede entenderse como se entendía en la antigüedad según nos lo explicaba Vasari, a pesar que esa línea que llevaba el arte sirvió durante mucho tiempo, aún después de la muerte de Vasari, pero hubo algo que de repente rompió con esta historia lineal y consecuente del arte para volverse un cereal de Lucky Charms de diferentes formas y colores. Que fue lo que pasó?Los impresionistas son ese parte aguas que desemboco en el plato de cereal. Comenzaron sacrificando la pintura mimética por la no mimética. La pincelada que antes se escondía se hizo obvia para que se viera que se hablaba de un pintura como tal, no una representación de la realidad, si no un objeto (un lienzo con capas de pintura sobre el) con una intensión. Entonces viene el modernismo, que es identificado por este nuevo nivel de consciencia que adquieren los artistas, eso hace que el relato histórico pierda su continuidad. Ya no solamente copian si no que lo hacen intencionalmente, desde un punto de vista subjetivo y desde una intensión precisa. Esta subjetividad hizo que cada artista o grupo de artistas tomara su propio rumbo; por otro lado, se buscaba dar un sentido a cada discurso artístico, y estamos hablando de un tiempo problemático en la historia del mundo, estos artistas habían vivido la guerra, si no en primera persona como un espectador, y esta experiencia afecta a cualquiera, aún mas a estos personajes cargados de sentimientos e ideas. Aquí es cuando aparecen las vanguardias, el expresionismo abstracto, que termino alrededor de 1962, el dada, que critica el punto de vista del mundo, el pop y su nueva felicidad espontánea, el cubismo que quiere abarcar todo, el futurismo con su grito de guerra, etc. Todas estas vanguardias tiene un punto de vista diferente del mundo, y todos estos artistas quieren expresarlo. Ya van viendo los Lucky Charms?Se rompieron todos los limites, en la época de los sesentas los artista llevaron cada estilo artístico a su limite, y estos limites fueron cediendo hasta el punto de seguir creyendo que lo que se hacia, seguía siendo arte. Entonces es cuando entra la filosofía en el arte. Lo visual dio paso a lo filosófico al grado de ya no ser necesario un objeto para ser arte, el mero concepto filosófico hace el arte posible. Es entonces cuando los artistas se liberan y pueden hacer lo que quieran, aquí comienza el todo se vale. Nace el neoexpresonismo, el performance, arte objeto, arte sin objeto también, landart, arte abyecto, arte porno, etc. etc. etc…Si se quiere saber que es arte, uno no debe de buscar en la experiencia sensible si no en el pensamiento.Y es aquí donde Danto dice que muere el arte. Porque ya no hay una línea en la historia. Antes se podía pensar que se paso de la mera representación iconográfica a una representación mas real para después dar paso a la perspectiva, entonces inicia la ilustración y el hombre siente que es el centro del mundo y nace el Renacimiento y en la época de la Revolución Francesa los artistas empiezan a pintar la añoranza de otros tiempos, etc. etc. A lo que voy es que con cada paso que el mundo daba, esto se veía reflejado en el arte, como quien dice, era consecuente, iban de la mano, y entonces se pierde esta idea lineal y es como si muriera el arte (según Danto). Por eso digo que si, si creo que hubo un cambio radical de cómo se veía y entendía el arte antes a ahora, pero lo que murió fue este relato, mas no el arte. Según mi punto de vista, se accedió a un nuevo arte. Y bueno el libro también habla del papel que toman los museos dentro de esta trágica muerte, de la política dentro del arte y de cómo hacer una crítica a las obras en la era después del fin del arte. Me gusta la forma en la que esta escrito, es mas un dialogo con el autor que un ensayo filosófico, hace muy accesible la lectura a pesar de los términos e ideas filosóficas que se tratan dentro.

  • Stefani Tiff
    2018-11-11 21:27

    Danto was insightful and in many cases quite humorous which made the book far from boring but rather undeniably enjoyable.Favorite quote: “I do not think it possible to convey the moral energy that went into this division between abstraction and realism, from both sides, in those years. It had an almost theological intensity, and in another stage of civilization there would certainly have been burnings at stake.”

  • E. C. Koch
    2018-10-27 05:20

    I first ran into Danto when writing my thesis on post-modern film and have returned to him as a supplement to Gaddis' JR and The Recogniitons in hopes of finding answers to some of the questions Gaddis raises about art in those novels. And that search has been both successful and not. Danto's grand concept here is that art (he means paintings mostly) follows an historical narrative which is carried along by culture, and that, with the advent of Warhol, art reached the end of that narrative. So we're now (now being 1995) in what he calls the post-historical art period (what I would have called post-modernism) but that all that's left to arise is the next grand narrative. What constitutes art is a far trickier nut to crack (and is the crux on my current line of questioning about art which got me here in the first place), and the answer Danto provides is that it depends on context and the intentions of the artist (with a lot of clarification in between). Overall, I thought this was insightful and illuminating (if the slightest bit dated, and even if he very infrequently mentioned lit. or film) and makes a great follow-up to The Recognitions.

  • Robert
    2018-10-31 01:37

    Did my sister give this to me? I don't know how I got hold of it. I was very interested in some version of Art History for a little bit. Something close to the version (or vantage) that makes art itself look an awful lot like art history. Or maybe a philosophy professor recommended it. Anyways. As I recall, Danto basically argues that art after the "postmodern" period should be termed post-historical -- art after the "end" of art (history). That postmodern art was the last art that paid (live or relevant) reference to its antecedents. That art after the postmodern period is arguably characterized by an absence of historical reference -- or at least one of any urgency or immediacy. As in, "oh what else is there to say about any of the -isms?" Except, well, maybe just to say "here is some art that doesn't concern itself with any antecedents -- and well maybe this is arguably concerning itself with postmodernism. Anyways, it could also be art that says "the history of art is irrelevant at this point." I've probably remembered this wrong. I liked thinking about these things at the time. Still do.

  • Duncan Greer
    2018-10-24 04:09

    A great read for understanding contemporary art from a philosophical point of view. Danto's view on Greenberg's Kantian influence is great, and he makes interesting arguments for a robust understanding of Warhol and Pop Art. It is a bit redundant but, as it was originally a lecture, that sort of thing is to be expected. The "End of Art" thesis is a bit hokey but also a handy way to explain the plurality of art after Pop. Also, Danto's Hegelian view of art history is surprisingly brilliant. All in all, and interesting read.

  • Arturo Javier
    2018-11-07 03:32

    No hay mucho que pueda añadir a lo que ya ha sido dicho por otros lectores. El libro es lectura esencial para cualquiera que esté interesado en el arte contemporáneo. La tesis principal del libro es que, a partir de los años sesenta, el mundo del arte ha entrado en una etapa poshistórica. La característica principal que define esta etapa es la ausencia de grandes narrativas que le den un sentido de dirección al desarrollo del arte. Danto es claro y riguroso, pero ello no le impide abordar una variedad inmensa de temas.

  • Faedyl
    2018-10-15 22:07

    Este libro lo leo y releo en ocasión de mis trabajos de la facultad, asi que doy por concluida esta lectura . Es un gran libro, aunque una de las muchas formas que hay hoy de pensar el arte contemporáneo, siempre lo encuentro lleno de sentido. Algunos otros autores le han criticado bastante pero para mi, esos son minimos detalles para una sólida postura que entiendo, es claramente visible en la tendencia del arte actual.

  • Vanessa
    2018-11-09 04:11

    so the arts are contently changing and i guess we need to categorize these occurrences with essays and philosophies and magazines and philosophical essays in magazines. if it is a good thing then Danto is pretty alright. This is an open minded approach to the often closed minded field of art philosophy littered with manifestos and rules and haters. fuck the haters.

  • Melek
    2018-11-10 03:25

    DNF at somewhere around page 200.The use of language makes the book hard to understand and boring and the information in it basically useless, because trying to read it makes you all sleepy. I might finish it some other day.

  • Maximus
    2018-10-31 04:27

    Epitome of modern academia... too much classification and long-winded 'intellectual' bloviation, not enough critical, artistic insight.Also virtually every hypothesis is either wrong, or treated in the wrong light.

  • Raymond
    2018-11-14 04:13

    Why is modernism over and what defines post-modernism in contemporary art. A key text to understanding how art got to where it is today. I took off a star because Danto can be repetitive in his arguments.

  • kate
    2018-11-01 22:13

    Essential reading for anyone who is disillusioned with, critical of, or just generally confused by art in a postmodern era. (Specifically for me, Danto's chapter on monochrome painting.)

  • Kathie
    2018-10-19 23:17

    Danto! I love Danto! And not only because I love to say his name...try it.

  • Juana
    2018-11-07 23:25

    yes darling, but is it art