Andy Warhol's Brillo Box, which looked sufficiently like actual Brillo cartons Arthur C. Danto, "The Art World," Journal of Philosophy 61 (), 5. Andy Warhol, american icons. Arthur C. Danto - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Warhol biography by A.C. Danto. young artist by the name of Andy Warhol at the Stable Gallery in New Kathleen Gilje, Portrait of Arthur Danto as the Bust of Socrates,
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ARTHUR DANTO'S ANDY WARHOL THE EMBODIMENT OF THEORY IN ART AND THE PRAGMATIC TURN Stephen Snyder ABSTRACT. – Arthur Danto's. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Nov 1, , KATHRYN BROWN and others published ANDY WARHOL BY ARTHUR C DANTO. In a work of great wisdom and insight, art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto delivers a compact, masterful tour of Andy Warhol's personal, artistic, and p.
Yale Univ. What Art Is challenges. How could someone be so brash as to answer a question that has vexed artists, critics, and historians for hundreds—if not thousands—of years? And yet Danto is so brash. Defining art is tricky. How to characterize a notion that includes everything from the decorative to the sublime to the shocking, from cave painters to Michelangelo to Diane Arbus, from oil painting to performance art to photography?
He embodied a concept of life that embraced the values of an era that we are still living in. In certain ways he created an iconic image of what life was all about. No other artist came close to doing that. The change from artist to icon happened fairly rapidly.
By , for example, the transformation was complete. In October of that year, Andy and his Superstar, Edie Sedgwick, attended his first American retrospective exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. There was a crowd of at least two thousand rapturous persons, most of them students. No one had expected a crowd that large, and the curator, Sam Green, to be prudent, removed most of the paintings from the walls, leaving the gallery all but bare.
But the crowd had not come so much to look at the art as to see Warhol and his consort. Chants of Andy and Edie! Andy and Edie! People were jostled and trampled.
It became a problem of crowd control much like what was happening at rock concerts. Andy, Edie, and their party found safety on an iron staircase, where, like demagogues on balconies, they waved at the crowds below. Finally a hole was axed in the ceiling, and the celebrities were able to escape to the floor above. Crowd behavior like that was almost standard with certain dreamboat musicians, like the Beatles, or Frank Sinatra before them.
But it was unheard of at art events, where the institutional atmosphere of the museum enjoined quiet and respect. The change did not escape Warhols notice. To think of it happening at an art opening, he said. Even a Pop Art opening. But then, we werent just at the art exhibitwe were the exhibit Bourdon, The history of Modernist art was a history of anger and resentment.
As far back as the Salon des Refuss of , on the instruction of Louis Napoleon, paintings rejected by the selection committee were hung in a separate gallery, where viewers could make up their own minds.
Manets Djeuner sur lherbe was the target of jeers and shouts of derision. There was jeering in the gallery where Matisse and the Fauves were displayed in the Salon of This did not happen with art in the s. On the contrary, it was felt, particularly by younger audiences, to be their art, to be part of their culture. By , everyone knew in a general way the kind of art Warhol was making.
The crowds at the ICA created, spontaneously, an event that would not have arisen with Lichtenstein or Oldenburg, and certainly not for the painters in the previous generation of Abstract Expressionists. Nor really did it happen anywhere with Minimalist art, which replaced Pop as the mainstream avant-garde art in the mids.
Pop arts successor was pretty much a big yawn as far as the general population was concerned. But with Pop, the change in art was perceived as radical, the meaning of art for ordinary persons had changed, and much of this was something that Warhol had done. At least, in his case, because of his art he had begun the ascent to the status of an icon. No one can have known that, with the change in decade, from the s to the s, the whole of Western culture was entering a period of convulsive change.
No one could have anticipated the tremendous change in attitude that lay ahead, especially in youth culture, in It was a decade in which boundary after boundary was broken and washed away.
The boundary between vernacular and high art was breached in the very early s. It was a way of overcoming the gap between art and life. My theory is that when there is a period of deep cultural change, it shows up first in art.
The age of Romanticism first became visible in the way English gardens were laid out, natural as opposed to formal.
In , the Beatles made their first visit to America, wearing long hair, testing a boundary between the genders. That very year, the boundary between the races was attacked as Freedom Riders went into the American South to help black citizens redeem their civil rights.
The campus upheavals of put under attack the boundaries between the generations, and young people claimed a right to determine the curriculum, and to study the subjects closest to them, including courses in ethnic and gender studies that would have been unheard of in the previous decade. But their demands went beyond the institution of the university, into the region where the most far-reaching political decisions were made. Meanwhile, radical feminism emerged in the late s, putting under attack traditional boundaries between the lives of men and women, the latter demanding equality or even more, autonomy.
In , the Stonewall Riots put under attack the boundaries between straight and gay sexual differences, deeming them irrelevant to civil life. Late in the decade, Warhol created a kind of cabaret, with the in-house rock group The Velvet Underground, and other entertainments, which he called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Exploding and Inevitable somehow capture the volatility of change that marked the s. But the transition from Andy Warhol, commercial artist, to Andy Warhol, art icon, while perhaps inevitable, was not explosive.
It was, initially, an uncertain kind of groping toward an art that did not really exist yet, and an identity neither Warhol nor anyone close to him would have been able to pin down. And the discourse I spoke of, which he ultimately found a way to enter, was as yet ill defined and uncertain.
That makes Bockriss metaphor of birth particularly apt. The fetus gropes blindly in the dark, heading toward a world it could not have visualized, in the warm cavity that had so far constituted its entire atmosphere. There had to have been, in or , some kind of internal change in Warhol.
He had come to New York City as a graduate from art school, and had made it as an immensely successful commercial artist. The song says that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, but what Warhol meant to do was to make it in New York in a different way, at a different level and at whatever cost. He wanted to make it as a very different kind of artist. It is difficult to imagine that what he wanted to become was one of the Abstract Expressionists, who dominated the New York art world in those years.
As we shall see, his first moves were made under the protective coloration of an Abstract Expressionist philosophy of pigment. But what one might call the Abstract Expressionist philosophy of art had, and could have had, no appeal for Warhol.
The view was that the painter reaches deep into his or her unconscious mind and finds ways to translate what Robert Motherwell called the original creative impulse into marks, impulsively deposited through broad gestures, onto the painting or drawings surface. When Warhol said, in his aphoristic style, If you want to know who Andy Warhol is, just look at my face, or at the surface of my work. Its all there, he was rejecting this romantic view of the artists soul Andy Warhol: A Retrospective, The Pop artists and the Abstract Expressionists had markedly opposed conceptions of what artists did.
The Pop artist had no inner secrets. If he revealed things to viewers, they were things the viewer already knew or knew about.
For this reason, there was already a natural bond between artist and viewer, which entered, in Warhols case, into the way he became an icon. He knew, and was moved by, the same things his audience knew and was moved by.
Beyond question, though Abstract Expressionism ran out of steam in roughly , there was already in the late s a revulsion against certain aspects of it as an orthodoxyagainst, for example, what hostile critics spoke of as its paint cookery. There was, for example, Hard-Edged Abstraction, which looked for well-defined forms and clean, uniform colors, where the artist controlled the relationships between shapes, and did not count on the accidentalities of touch and pigment that made the Abstract Expressionist surfaces so exciting.
But this was not, one might say, the way that art wanted to move forward. Hard-Edge attacked what seemed to constitute the heart of contemporary painting, namely the expressiveness of paint as paint, and the impulsiveness with which the painter interacted with it, and the spirit of improvisation and, indeed, liberation, that made Abstract Expressionism really unlike any movement in the history of art.
Whatever was to replace it had to retain that or something of that. It was easy to understand how artists who had become masters through Abstract Expressionism, like Mark Rothko, could have thought that it would last a thousand yearsas long at least as the Renaissance paradigms had prevailed. Abstract art had become an option around at the earliest, New York School abstraction with Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in the later s.
It ran its course in less than two decades. The successful rebellion had to take a different form from Hard-Edge Abstraction, and it had begun with artists who became beaux ideals for WarholRobert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and, in a somewhat different way, Cy Twombly. Johns in particular had mastered the Abstract Expressionist brush. As a painter, he was at least the equal of any of the masters of the New York School.
There was something delicious in the way he laid paint down on panels. But his subject was not himself, but commonplace forms from what phenomenologists speak of as the Lebensweltthe world of common experience: numerals, letters, maps, targets. In a way, Johns sought subjects that everyone recognized, but he was particularly interested in the relationship between these entities and their representations.
A painted numeral just is a numeral, a painted letter just is a letter. A painted flag is a flag. That it is beautifully painted is neither here nor there. He found a way of turning reality into art, in the sense that his subjects overcame the difference between representation and reality.
Rauschenberg worked with real things from the beginning. If he painted a real thing, it was in the most direct and literal wayhe slathered paint on it.
His famous combine Monogram consisted mainly of a stuffed angora goat with a rubber tire around its midriff. And he then slathered paint on the goats head and parts of its body. His combine Bed was made of a quilt and a pillow fitted into a wooden bed frame and hung on the wall, andof coursehe slathered it in such a way that there would be little temptation to sleep in it. It was as if the presence of paint sufficed to turn reality into art.
Twombly was more abstract then either of his friends.
He scribbled on canvas, or on paper. His drawings and paintings were in this respect a bit gestural and in the spirit of Abstract Expressionism. They were primitive in the sense that scribbling was the kind of mark that real children really make. It stands to writing the way babbling stands to speech.
But it was without question real. It surged across the surface, but it was not in any way arbitrary. It was something everybody knew. These figures, and especially Rauschenberg and Johns, were powerful influences for Warhol. There was also the fact that they were lovers, as Rauschenberg and Twombly had been.
The fact that they were gay interested Warhol greatly, since this was his own sexual orientation. They were very masculine, and for this reason Warhol was diffident about approaching them.
He said that he felt that he was too swish to find acceptance. The code of conduct of gay males was evolving in such a way that swish was decreasingly acceptable. The thrust was to be as aggressively masculine as possible. By the mids, Warhol changed his look completely.
He became skinny. He wore leather jackets and blue jeans. He was seeking entry into two worlds, the art world and the gay world, as both had begun to evolve. The art that engaged him is not easy to characterize in sexual terms, but the art that had made him respected in the commercial world of the s had been markedly effete.
It was almost a form of folk art, with kittens and cherubs, in which his signature form was defined by a broken line filled in with pale bonbon washes in blue and pink, yellow and green. They often carried handwritten inscriptions, in his mother s engaging calligraphy. The aesthetic was that of upscale greeting cards.
It was, in effect, the aesthetic of his commercial art, especially for I. Miller shoeshigh-heeled pumps with fetishistic overtones. In a way, pictures of shoes have the right kind of content for the sorts of images that engaged him as a protoPop artist, but they would have had to be divested of the glitter of his shoe ads, and project an uninflected image, showing a shoe as it would appear in a simple advertisement, purged of its glamour, with its price printed next to it.
It would have to have the downto-earthness of the Before and After ad. The deep psychological question is what explains why Warhol should have put aside the fey aesthetics of his early illustrated books and chosen in their place the bare declarative aesthetic of the proletarian representations he began to favor. The cheap tabloid became for him a kind of quarry, and he began to paint two kinds of images: images from the comic pages, like Dick Tracy and Superman, Popeye, Nancy, or The Little King, and images from the advertising section, crude, direct logos in black and white, unambiguous and, one would say, without art.
Today, the comic panel strikes everyone as the archetypical Pop art image. There is, however, a deep difference between the comic images of Roy Lichtenstein, like Mickey Mouse or Blondie, and Warhols rather more complex images.
Lichtensteins images reproduce, almost mechanically, the images as they appear in comic books or newspapers. He reproduces the means of reproduction, namely the dots of the Benday screen, so you get, in effect, handpainted copies of images as they appear or would appear, on lowgrade newsprint, using dots. A lot of Lichtensteins images come from action comics, in which pilots zap enemy planes, and the comic word Zap!
Or the inner thoughts of pretty girls appear written in thought balloons above their heads, connected to the thinkers by bubbles. Warhols differ in various ways, but chiefly through the way in which words are blurred out by scumbled paint, so words or, better, fragments of words are visible only in part.
And the viewer is very aware of the materiality of the paint, which has been allowed to drip. Lichtenstein applies paint the way the comic artist would, within carefully drawn boundaries. Warhol applies paint the way an Abstract Expressionist artist would, allowing it to drip. You cant do a painting without a drip, he told Ivan Karp, who was director of the Castelli Gallery. This is what I meant by saying that he used Abstract Expressionist gestural painting as protective coloration. The drips did not come from some inner conviction.
They did not refer to that moment of trance when the Abstract Expressionist painter moved the paint around without tidying up. The drip in fact was felt in those years to be a discovery. It was a sign of authenticity. Not for Warhol. It was, for him, an affectation, a form of branding his work as now. What was special about these works was the effort to fuse mass art with high artto paint the ultrafamiliar, like Popeye or Nancy, using paint likeor somewhat likethe Abstract Expressionists did.
It was as if he were painting Abstract Expressionist cartoons. It was a stab at stylistic synthesis that did not go over with art world experts who felt strongly that Warhol was gifted. One of these was certainly Ivan Karp. Warhol regularly visited Castellis gallery, which was where the artists he most admired showed their work. It was the gallery that he would most wish to have been part of.
What he discovered on one of his visits was that he was not aloneothers were on a path very close to the one he was trying to follow. Karp showed him the work of Roy Lichtenstein, who had just joined the gallery.
Warhol was stunned that someone else was painting cartoons and advertising icons. Lichtenstein had painted an enlarged version of an icon showing, in color, a shouting girl in a bathing suit, holding a beach ball. It was originally a boilerplate icon in advertisements for a resort, Mount Airy Lodge.
Without modifying the imagehe even used the Benday dotsLichtenstein simply enlarged it to the size an Abstract Expressionist painting.
To be significant in those years, a painting had to be big. Any reader of the New York Post would have recognized the image but would have been astonished to see it hanging in large format on someones wall, without text. It would have been considered an aesthetic hybrid. Lichtenstein was painting to an exceedingly sophisticated audience. The fact is that, while hand-painted, the image had none of the Abstract Expressionist touches in paint handling that would have been noticed by anyone who bought the painting.
Warhol told Ivan Karp that he had been doing the very same kind of painting, and invited him to visit his studio. Karp liked what Warhol was doing, but rightly objected to the messy paint.
Warhols response to this criticism is deeply instructive in understanding how he made his moves forward.
On this occasion, he enlisted the help of someone whose judgment he trusted. This was Emile de Antonio, a documentary filmmaker who, among other achievements, had made Point of Ordera film using footage from the McCarthy hearings in In the summer of , de Antonio went to Warhols town house to have drinks: [Andy] put two large paintings next to one another.
Usually he showed me the work more casually, so I realized that this was a presentation. He had painted two pictures of Coke bottles about six feet tall. One was just a pristine black-and-white Coke bottle. The other had a lot of Abstract Expressionist marks on it.
I said Come on, Andy, the abstract one is a piece of shit, the other one is remarkable. Its our society, its who we are, its absolutely beautiful and naked, and you ought to destroy the first one and show the other.
What Warhol had been doing was adding marks that he thought were expected for a painting to be who we are. De Antonio made him see that the direction was the reverse of what he had believed it should be. He had to remove all the mock expressionist markings. He ought, in truth, to have done in this respect what Lichtenstein intuited was right. The Coke bottle was, of course, an icon in its own right.
If you want to paint it as an icon, you paint it as it is. It does not need any frills. The way forward was clear. It was a mandate and a breakthrough.
The mandate was: paint what we are.
The breakthrough was the insight into what we are. We are the kind of people that are looking for the kind of happiness advertisements promise us that we can have, easily and cheaply. Before and After is like an X-ray of the American soul.
Warhol began to paint the advertisements in which our deficiencies and hopes are portrayed. His images after the change were vernacular, familiar, and anonymous, drawn from the back pages of blue-collar newspapers, the cover pages of sensationalist tabloids, pulp comics, fan magazines, junk mail, publicity glossies, boilerplate for throwaway advertisements. It was as though he had received some commandment to lead the lowest of the pictorial low into the precincts of high art.
There were no disclosures or confessions of what remains perhaps the most mysterious transformation in the history of artistic creativity. But that is not the whole of it. Warhol went from what one of Henry Jamess characters describes as a little artist man, on the fringe of a fringe of the art world, to the defining artist of his era. That could not have happened had the world itself not undergone a parallel change, through which the transformed Warhol emerged as the artist it was waiting for.
Warhols first exhibition after the conversion was in a space that belonged by rights to the Warhol of shoes and pussycats: the Fifty-seventh Street windows of Bonwit Teller. But the paintings on display for one week only, in mid-April , belong to his new phase. There are five in all. Advertisement is based on a montage of black-and-white newspaper ads: for hair tinting; for acquiring strong arms and broad shoulders; for nose reshaping; for prosthetic aids for rupture; and No Finer Drink Pepsi-Cola.
In , Pepsi-Cola had begun an advertising campaign in which it proclaimed itself the drink For those that think young, as if it were the elixir of youth that Ponce de Leon had come to the New World to discover. Bonwits window also included Before and After, advertising the nose you are ashamed of transformed into a nose to die for.
The remaining paintings are of Superman, the Little King on an easel , and Popeye. The ads reflect Warhols personal preoccupationsimpending baldness, an unattractive nose, a loose, unprepossessing body. But the placement of the original imagesin back-page ad sections of the National Enquirer and comparable publications of mass consumptiontestifies to the universality of such nagging self-dissatisfactions, and the inextinguishable human hope that there are easy ways to health, happiness, and how to Make Him Want You.
The paintings comment, almost philosophically, on the light summer frocks, displayed on mannequins placed before them. But the message is lightened by images of comic book personages with which everyone was familiar.
Who, pausing to look at the display, would have predicted that Advertisement would find its way to Berlins National Gallery by way of the museum at Monchengladbach and the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art? If such unpromising images can become fine art, there is comparable hope for the hardly more promising rest of us!
Of the two Coca-Cola bottles, done approximately two years apart, only the later one shows us what we are, according to Andys mentor, Emile de Antonio. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 85 57 in. Casein and crayon on linen, 69 52 in. Marx, a prominent German collector of contemporary art, through Heiner Bastien, a German curator who regarded Warhol as a great artist.
According to Bastien, We considered him generous to Marx because he pulled out all his old paintings. In the end he even pulled out his Advertisement, because I said it would be wonderful to have this first painting in the collection. I dont think we are yet capable of understanding how radical what Andy did really was. He has probably drawn a picture of our times that reflects more about our time than any other art.
It seems as if he had some sort of instinctual understanding of where our civilization is going to Bockris, Andys first show, held in the windows of Bonwit Teller in New York in April , reveals his feeling for the human condition.
Photograph by Nathan Gluck What almost nobody in would have seen, had they passed the window at Bonwit Teller, is that it was full of art. They thought they were looking at womens wear, with some vernacular images taken from the culture by some imaginative, in all likelihood gay, window dresser.
Who could have seen it as art in that year? Not me, for sure. Not most of the art world, then still caught up with Abstract Expressionism. It would not have been until that I was aware of Pop from an illustration in ARTnews, showing what looked like a panel from an action comic, like Steve Canyon, showing a pilot and his girl kissing, and titled The Kiss.
Lichtenstein would have seen it as art, as would Ivan Karp. A few dealers, a few collectors. What made it art, then? Warhol would certainly have been unable to explain. He affected a certain inarticulateness, stumbling and mumbling.
It could not have lain in the difference in size between the advertisements as they appear in the newspapers and as they appear on the large panels Warhol used for the window at Bonwit Teller.
One can imagine Before and After postersize over the windows on subways or buses in New York, or even as rather dramatic billboards in Times Square. One of the Pop artists, James Rosenquist, actually worked for Artkraft Strauss sign corporation, painting giant billboards around the city. My view is that all the advertisements appropriatedthe term was not used in the s, and when it did become a form preempting images, as it did in the s, its meaning was entirely differenthave something in common.
They all refer, to use the title of Grace Paleys collection of stories, to the little disturbances of man. They refer to sagging stomachs, aching limbs, blemished skin, curly hair one wants to have straightened and straight hair one wants to have curled, and the like.
They offer help. But collectively they project an image of the human condition, and that is why they are art. The cartoons have another meaning. Their characters are American idols. Their virtues are beyond ours.
Popeyes strength makes him the Hercules of his age. Nancy is wise beyond her years. And Superman is Superman, who has the attributes of a Bodhisattva heeder of the cries of the world. They too promise help. They too promise hope. In the end, the window of Bonwit Teller was a showroom of the world of passersby. Everyone understood the images, because the world they projected was everyones world.
The world projected by Abstract Expressionism was the world of those who painted its paintings. Warhol was not the first to raise, in its most radical form, the question of art. He redefined the form of the question. The new form did not ask, What is art?
It asked this: What is the difference between two things, exactly alike, one of which is art and one of which is not? In its own way it is like a religious question. Jesus is at once a man and a god. We know what it is to be a man. It is to bleed and suffer, as Jesus did, or the customers whom the ads address. So what is the difference between a man that is and the man that is not a god? His theory brings us to the crossroads, so to speak, where philoso- phy and culture meet.
Danto encountered this intersection in works of Andy Warhol at a exhibit at the Stable Gallery. Prompted by his ex- perience at the Stable Gallery, Danto published his novel theory in the article The Artworld. The philosophical transformation Danto experienced at the Stable Gallery in changed the way he viewed art; it was as if he discovered the light that gives sight the power to see. Allegorically speaking, he escaped his chains and emerged from the cave Plato describes for us in Republic, to the light of day.
Without the constraint of historical taste, the world of art is unified by the meanings embodied within artworks by their creators.
His theory is also able to account for the radically different forms and functions of the art of the past, for the art of each age is tied to a form of meaning that is historically in- dexed.
It is through an understanding of the changing concepts of the artworld that the works of the past are to be interpreted. Otherwise, there is no accounting for differences in styles that reemerge in history, exhibiting common visual characteristics, yet manifesting fundamentally different cultural meanings. The artworld accounts for historical continuity, insofar as the concepts mani- fested through it are linked to a time and place and are interpretable.
Danto has argued that art cannot be pure expression, for the expression of today cannot be contrasted or interpreted in terms of the expression of yesterday. It is with theory that Danto interpreted the life and work of Andy Warhol.
Art as embodied meaning applies universally to all art of all times, and the temporally indexed intention of the artist endows the artwork with a meaning that prevents it from col- lapsing into the realm of everyday objects. His understanding of the indiscernible provides the theorist and critic alike a gateway, so to speak, which only becomes explicit when the two worlds, the world of the eve- ryday and the world of art, meet.
I have inveighed against the isolation of artworks from the historical and generally causal matrices from which they derive their identities and struc- tures. His criticism is informed by, but does not actually constitute, philosophy. True, his aim in ———————— 5 Action, Art, History, quoted, p. In this symbiotic relationship, artists embody the augured meanings of post-history in their art, and philosophers interpret the artworld concepts manifested in their works.
It is in the pivotal role that Warhol played in forming the world of art we know today, that we see the relevance of theory and style, philosophy and art. Hegel, Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art, trans.
Knox, Oxford, Ox- ford University Press, , p. See A. Likewise, Warhol fits the mold of the artist who embodies the artwork with the meanings endowed by history. Carlin Romano notes this opposition in his article, Looking Beyond the Visible.
This duality can also be ———————— 10 The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, quoted, p. Rollins ed. It is able to re- solve both the failure of mimetic theory, the notion that art strives to mirror the object it depicts, as well as the relativism of theories that re- duce all art to expression — thereby placing art on the continuum of the living, but incommensurable, expression of artists.
His thought requires that there be genuine historical continuity, and indeed a kind of progress. The progress in question is not that of an increasingly refined technology of perceptual equivalence. Rather there is a kind of cognitive progress, where it is under- stood that art progressively approaches that kind of cognition.
When the cognition is achieved, there really is no longer any point to or need for art. For Hegel, the opposition between the universal and the par- ticular — the content or meaning of art and its physical manifestation or embodiment — is resolved into the non-material expression of philoso- phy.
As Danto defines style, the subjective consciousness of the artist cannot know its own style save through presenting it to others. The ontology of the artwork is not continuous with its interpretation, for art must be interpreted in order for it to exist fully actualized.
Yet Danto defines the artwork in an essential manner that necessitates, but does not include, its interpretation. Thus, the ability to discern art from non-art is dependent on a common layer that the artwork and the viewer inhabit.
Not wanting to adopt the metaphysics of the Absolute, which unifies the dualities of subject and object, the artworld adopts the dimensions of the Absolute on a cultural level. But, Danto concedes ———————— 15 The Artworld, quoted, p. But without an absolute consciousness, the intersubjective interaction necessary for forming and recognizing artworld theories must be viewed as a social activity.
The world is not always cooperative in such attempts. But the analogy of systematizing the world in which we live while we are in it is reminiscent of the paradoxes Kant draws out in his antinomies Kant is willing to live with this opposition, which in some manner is articulated in his notion of the aesthetic idea, the counterpart of the rational idea.
Though no intuition can adequately express the rational ———————— 17 Ibidem. Reason places demands on our ordering of appearance into a unified experience. But Kant re- fuses explicitly to acknowledge the sociological implications of his ac- count of aesthetic experience, leaving the reader to question how one develops the sense of taste necessary to raise a judgment to the level of the Beautiful. But Hegel, like Danto, is concerned with the object of art in terms of its historically changing morphology, as well as its ontological status.
In par- ticular, I will examine the pragmatic aesthetics of John Dewy. He argues that the theory of knowl- edge, in the philosophical tradition, is in need of reconstruction. In light of this new focus, one of the tasks of philosophy is to resolve the separation of social forms of knowledge from the lived experience.
From a pragmatic perspective, it would be logical for Danto to have seen Andy Warhol as the philosopher who transfigured the common- place into the realm of art. But the relationship of aesthetic theory to artistic practice is problematic, for theories of art lead art production away from the genu- ine aesthetic experience. Art in the contemporary world manifests a conceptual complexity that belies the true nature of aesthetic experience.
Art theory, in turn, is formed based on the analysis of those rarified works collected for display in museums.