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What Art Is

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What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite vari What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato’s definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro, and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol’s famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent. Throughout, Danto considers the contributions of philosophers including Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, and artists from Michelangelo and Poussin to Duchamp and Warhol, in this far-reaching examination of the interconnectivity and universality of aesthetic production.


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What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite vari What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato’s definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro, and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol’s famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent. Throughout, Danto considers the contributions of philosophers including Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, and artists from Michelangelo and Poussin to Duchamp and Warhol, in this far-reaching examination of the interconnectivity and universality of aesthetic production.

30 review for What Art Is

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    "In my first book on the philosophy of art I thought that works of art are about something, and I decided that works of art accordingly have meaning. We infer meanings, or grasp meanings, but meanings are not at all material. I then thought that, unlike sentences with subjects and predicates, the meanings are embodied in the object that had them. I then declared that works of art are embodied meanings. [...] The art object embodies the meaning, or partially embodies it. [...] The artwork is a ma "In my first book on the philosophy of art I thought that works of art are about something, and I decided that works of art accordingly have meaning. We infer meanings, or grasp meanings, but meanings are not at all material. I then thought that, unlike sentences with subjects and predicates, the meanings are embodied in the object that had them. I then declared that works of art are embodied meanings. [...] The art object embodies the meaning, or partially embodies it. [...] The artwork is a material object, some of whose properties belong to the meaning, and some of which do not. What the viewer must do is interpret the meaning-bearing properties in such a way as to grasp the intended meaning they embody." (37-38)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    A near-worthless series of essays on art by a dead Columbia philosopher. Danto appears to embody pretty much all that I dislike about New England classics professors, who use a lot of words to say nothing in particular. Skimmed only, but I think I gave Danto a fair chance. Yuck. Not for me!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Roderick Mcgillis

    A good introduction to a discussion of art, what art is, its ontological status. I especially enjoyed Danto's discussion of Warhol and James Harvey, brillo boxes and Brillo Box, although he might have explored the question of meaning here in greater detail. Commercial Art means, but how does such meaning differ from the meaning of so-called High Art? And just how many kinds of art might we identify, and how do they connect to meaning? And why, if meaning must be "embodied," does Formalism fail t A good introduction to a discussion of art, what art is, its ontological status. I especially enjoyed Danto's discussion of Warhol and James Harvey, brillo boxes and Brillo Box, although he might have explored the question of meaning here in greater detail. Commercial Art means, but how does such meaning differ from the meaning of so-called High Art? And just how many kinds of art might we identify, and how do they connect to meaning? And why, if meaning must be "embodied," does Formalism fail to satisfy as an approach to art? Perhaps my difficulty here stems from my own inability to grasp philosophical discourse.I do, however, find the discussions stimulating. The chapter on restoration is provocative. The question of intention pokes its head here, but again Danto does not delve into this question. For the record, he seems to have found the restored Sistine ceiling acceptable despite his reluctance to view it. His discussion moves me to contemplate all those reproductions of master works in books, and now on the internet. What do we see when we view a D. G. Rossetti online or in a printed catalogue? How should we judge art we have only seen reproduced? At one time, artists (William Blake, for example) would have seen much of what influenced him in reproduction only. Is this philosophically significant? Finally, I can say that Danto offers a cogent analysis of what art is. Aesthetics be damned. Well, not really, but Fountain and its creator Mr. Mutt succeeded in putting aesthetics in its place.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Spyros Passas

    A very economical, dense and compact book attempting to answer a notoriously difficult question. Danto starts by recapping the most common approaches in defining art (art as imitation, as aesthetic value, even as something that cannot -and does not need to- be defined), before proposing his own approach (Art as embodied meaning). After explaining his theory, he elaborates on how this affects the artwork restoration, the body in philosophy of art, how it distorts Kantian definitions and finally, A very economical, dense and compact book attempting to answer a notoriously difficult question. Danto starts by recapping the most common approaches in defining art (art as imitation, as aesthetic value, even as something that cannot -and does not need to- be defined), before proposing his own approach (Art as embodied meaning). After explaining his theory, he elaborates on how this affects the artwork restoration, the body in philosophy of art, how it distorts Kantian definitions and finally, what does this mean for the future of aesthetics, since aesthetics is not a defining element of Art. Very interesting read and I'm definitely going to read Danto's "Transfiguration of the Commonplace" that precedes this work. It is very useful to have a visual reference of the artworks analyzed in the book and, of course, read it with an open mind, ready to discover new questions and not find magical answers (which is not the purpose of this work).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell Foley

    I picked up this book because I felt like I needed to familiarize myself more with the institutional discourse surrounding the arts rather than just entirely relying on my own idiosyncratic methods of analysis. This book, being very short and having a title which promises a sufficiently broad scope, was a good candidate. As it turns out, I think I may have some reason to prefer my own subjective opinions to that which passes for expertise and intellectual sophistication, at least in this specifi I picked up this book because I felt like I needed to familiarize myself more with the institutional discourse surrounding the arts rather than just entirely relying on my own idiosyncratic methods of analysis. This book, being very short and having a title which promises a sufficiently broad scope, was a good candidate. As it turns out, I think I may have some reason to prefer my own subjective opinions to that which passes for expertise and intellectual sophistication, at least in this specific case. In the first chapter, Danto bemoans the fact that his "fellow philosophers" believe that the category of "art" is so vague that there is no use coming up with a definition of it. He asserts that philosophers only believe art is an open-ended category because they don't really understand the arts the way an art critic would. A few pages later, Danto gives us his definition of a work of art - "meaning embodied in an object". This definition, upon a few seconds' reflection, reveals itself to be very insufficient, for the obvious reason that not all art is a physical object. In fact, I think the majority of art is not embedded in a physical object - theater, music, film, poetry. How can Danto not realize this? The fact that he thinks of "art" as exclusively involving physical objects reveals an absurd bias towards the institution of the modern gallery, totally blind to any creative expressions which exist outside it, even in, say, the symphony hall two doors down. This would be bad enough if it weren't for the fact that this definition comes about ten pages after a lengthy discussion of John Cage's 4'33", a work of art that is entirely defined its by lack of existence, material or otherwise. So that's pretty silly. Moving onto the second chapter, we find a discussion of the recent cleaning of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, which Danto comes out as vigorously opposed to. This is because, in his mind, part of the "meaning" embodied in the ceiling is that it is dirty, and therefore to clean the ceiling would destroy the artwork entirely. The dirt, Danto asserts, represents something along the lines of Plato's allegory of the cave, regarding how humanity can see glimpses of transcendent meaning even while living in a debased material plane. The reason Danto believes this is because he saw a picture of the ceiling after it had been cleaned and thought the figures looked crude and garish. Since Michelangelo was a great artist, he must not have intended it to look this way. In fact, this "destruction" of a work of art upset Danto so much that he refused to visit the Sistine Chapel ever again, on principle. Does Danto sincerely believe, despite any historical evidence to point to, that somehow Michelangelo intended the ceiling to become dirty over time and never again cleaned, in order to create some gnostic allegory utterly central to the work? I certainly hope not. And as if that wasn't ludicrous enough, he wraps up the discussion of the Sistine Chapel by bringing up the metaphysical notions embedded in the relative flaccidity of the various penises of the figures, as well as the Platonic allegory implied in the homosexual overtones in the way the female figures are rendered. At this point, the book is about halfway over. There are four more short chapters and these actually turn out to be decent, albeit a bit rambling. So it wasn't entirely worthless, but all the arguments asserted in first half of this book were just so insultingly stupid that I really feel compelled to mark it with the single star of shame.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kotryna

    Though well written, the book seemed a bit random to me - someone who is interested in art history & theory, but was not aware of every theme developed in the book. It lacks a game of argument & contra-argument, and seemed a bit one-sided, more like a personal opinion rather than academic or analytic text. Without a wider context, I experienced the book as a middle of the conversation without knowing how it began or ended. Made me google a lot, which is never a bad thing. Good reference for futur Though well written, the book seemed a bit random to me - someone who is interested in art history & theory, but was not aware of every theme developed in the book. It lacks a game of argument & contra-argument, and seemed a bit one-sided, more like a personal opinion rather than academic or analytic text. Without a wider context, I experienced the book as a middle of the conversation without knowing how it began or ended. Made me google a lot, which is never a bad thing. Good reference for future readings.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elliot Chalom

    DNF. Chapter one was somewhat what I expected the book to be about. Gave up on chapter 2 midway through and same for chapter 3. Skimmed the rest and realized this wasn't what I was looking for. I won't blame Danto - maybe it's too advanced given my lack of art education. I was hoping this book would be a lot more accessible and less abstract. DNF. Chapter one was somewhat what I expected the book to be about. Gave up on chapter 2 midway through and same for chapter 3. Skimmed the rest and realized this wasn't what I was looking for. I won't blame Danto - maybe it's too advanced given my lack of art education. I was hoping this book would be a lot more accessible and less abstract.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Camila Pedraza

    Wonderful and enchanting. (view spoiler)[ Anything CAN be art, although not everything IS art. Art is: 1) Meaning and 2) embodiement --- embodied meaning--- the meaning is intricately related to its material object. Thus the relationship to reality is internal. Its meaning must be interpreted. Its invisible (rather than visible) properties are what makes something art. It exists to be seen and understood as art. It is self-conscious 3) Wakeful dreams --- not necessarily true but possible. Art alway Wonderful and enchanting. (view spoiler)[ Anything CAN be art, although not everything IS art. Art is: 1) Meaning and 2) embodiement --- embodied meaning--- the meaning is intricately related to its material object. Thus the relationship to reality is internal. Its meaning must be interpreted. Its invisible (rather than visible) properties are what makes something art. It exists to be seen and understood as art. It is self-conscious 3) Wakeful dreams --- not necessarily true but possible. Art always stands AT A DISTANCE from reality. It is once removed (like the Brillo Box). Art and reality have different embodiments and different meanings. (The Brillo carton denotes the Brillo product (it is about Brillo). The Brillo Box by Warhol denotes the Brillo carton, and thus life, and thus aesthetics at the time and thus popular culture. Even though they LOOK the same, they are different--- invisible differences.) 4) Cognitive. The artistic genius is capable of embodying/conveying ideas in a sensory medium (ideas we grasp through the senses/sensory experience rather than just the mind). And aesthetics is one of the ways art achieves its goals. Art is Aesthetical Ideas: ideas beyond the bounds of experience conveyed through the elements of experience. Art carries us beyond experience. It opens us to new ideas. Art is transformative. It has power. It is the work of genius and spirit. If not aesthetical, then art has the power of meaning and the possibility of truth 5) Art Historical - it is tied to a time, a place, a culture and a style. It requires a bit of theory and a bit of criticism and specially a bit of knowledge to be understood. It is not a one way street only dependent on the artist. It needs a reader. It needs interpretation in order to become art. We are meaning-makers. (hide spoiler)]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary Overton

    Danto's dense, delightful book was, for me, a 4 month reading experience and crash course in art history. Every other page refers to an artist or philosopher, and I’d stop to look up the person, learn about him/her (alas, mostly him), see the art or read a bit of the writing. My absolutely favorite newly discovered artist is Charles Simonds, who “made little clay dwellings in the cracks of building in what was going to be SoHo - which he insisted were occupied by ‘Little People.’” (34-5) Ever si Danto's dense, delightful book was, for me, a 4 month reading experience and crash course in art history. Every other page refers to an artist or philosopher, and I’d stop to look up the person, learn about him/her (alas, mostly him), see the art or read a bit of the writing. My absolutely favorite newly discovered artist is Charles Simonds, who “made little clay dwellings in the cracks of building in what was going to be SoHo - which he insisted were occupied by ‘Little People.’” (34-5) Ever since childhood, I have looked for and longed to find Little People! Unfortunately I had to grown up and let go of the literal quest, but Simonds' work gives me secret hope. Maybe someday … For the here and now, Danto gave me plenty to think about with his philosophical definition, that "works of art are embodied meaning." (37)

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Art Book Review

    " We should not be content with making little amendments and comments on beauty and taste. Visual artists now have the opportunity to use any medium possible to weigh in on any subject and the only criteria is the depth and clarity by which that “embodied meaning,” as Danto calls it, reveals itself. This is liberating and scary. Artists are required to be better and viewers are required to be smarter." --Ed Schad on Arthur C. Danto's "What Art Is" from Yale University Press Read the full review he " We should not be content with making little amendments and comments on beauty and taste. Visual artists now have the opportunity to use any medium possible to weigh in on any subject and the only criteria is the depth and clarity by which that “embodied meaning,” as Danto calls it, reveals itself. This is liberating and scary. Artists are required to be better and viewers are required to be smarter." --Ed Schad on Arthur C. Danto's "What Art Is" from Yale University Press Read the full review here: http://theartbookreview.org/2013/06/2...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Incredibly short-sighted in its attempt to define art, essentially and universally, using only Western examples, and then only drawing from philosophical discussions from Socrates & Aristotle and from art examples from post-Renaissance. Also fails to recognize head-on the way in which art as a concept is constructed by elite culture & elite value as part of its definition despite premising half of his definition on the tastes of the “high-culture Art World” (come on, dude, you’re so close). Trea Incredibly short-sighted in its attempt to define art, essentially and universally, using only Western examples, and then only drawing from philosophical discussions from Socrates & Aristotle and from art examples from post-Renaissance. Also fails to recognize head-on the way in which art as a concept is constructed by elite culture & elite value as part of its definition despite premising half of his definition on the tastes of the “high-culture Art World” (come on, dude, you’re so close). Treats making the art world a more inclusive place as a push that involved real thought about what art “meant” rather than recognizing how Western artistic movements “borrowed” from different cultures constantly without citing their work/giving artistic credence to their sources of inspiration. Overall, not worth the read; analysis isn’t very rigorous or prescient. DNF.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ailsa

    Throughout this book, acclaimed American Art Historian/philosopher Danto aims to uncover ‘what art is’- that is, what conditions are necessary for something to be art? To illustrate his theory that art is ‘embodied meaning’ he draws upon many other art theories and art works: from Warhol’s Brillo Boxes to the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes and from Kant to Greenberg. He describes art as ‘wakeful dreams’; ideas or notions that can be understood or recognised implicitly. Danto finishes by suggest Throughout this book, acclaimed American Art Historian/philosopher Danto aims to uncover ‘what art is’- that is, what conditions are necessary for something to be art? To illustrate his theory that art is ‘embodied meaning’ he draws upon many other art theories and art works: from Warhol’s Brillo Boxes to the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes and from Kant to Greenberg. He describes art as ‘wakeful dreams’; ideas or notions that can be understood or recognised implicitly. Danto finishes by suggesting that a true understanding of art demands an understanding of an aesthetic preference or ‘spirit’ of an age. Although an interesting read, Danto’s writing style can be esoteric at times and require prior knowledge but for the most part he provides illustrative and accessible examples and explanations for his ideas.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dora

    I am always amazed at how Danto manages to make even the most obscure topics interesting and occasionally even amusing. His writing proves that academic writing needn't be dry and monotonous. He provides (of whimsical, or at least intriguing/challenging) examples to support his theories which are in and of themselves intriguing and worth the time to consider. I always enjoy reading Danto's work because of his wide range of knowledge and his ability to integrate all of this knowledge in one cohes I am always amazed at how Danto manages to make even the most obscure topics interesting and occasionally even amusing. His writing proves that academic writing needn't be dry and monotonous. He provides (of whimsical, or at least intriguing/challenging) examples to support his theories which are in and of themselves intriguing and worth the time to consider. I always enjoy reading Danto's work because of his wide range of knowledge and his ability to integrate all of this knowledge in one cohesive, well-organized whole, be it an essay, or an entire book as is the case here.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luisa

    I'd say this book offers quite a good answer to the question what art is. Defining it as "embodied meaning", and explaining it with various examples taken from different periods of time, Danto comes to terms with how we can think about art, away from seeing it as an expression of pure aesthetics. Art is always linked to the point in time it was produced at, interpretations may evolve through the century, as society changes, but what stays is it's voice, telling us about it's existence, and ours. I'd say this book offers quite a good answer to the question what art is. Defining it as "embodied meaning", and explaining it with various examples taken from different periods of time, Danto comes to terms with how we can think about art, away from seeing it as an expression of pure aesthetics. Art is always linked to the point in time it was produced at, interpretations may evolve through the century, as society changes, but what stays is it's voice, telling us about it's existence, and ours.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maxim

    As we know a lack of epistemology which runs forever causes ontological incompleteness in everything. So how you can take such a risk to define something (ART) through ontological arguments?! You can find that kind of "heroic" books in market easily. And of course, it is not simple to handle the question which starts with "ce que c'est ... ?"... As we know a lack of epistemology which runs forever causes ontological incompleteness in everything. So how you can take such a risk to define something (ART) through ontological arguments?! You can find that kind of "heroic" books in market easily. And of course, it is not simple to handle the question which starts with "ce que c'est ... ?"...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Hall

    I am only interested in the fifth chapter, "Kant and the Work of Art." The fifth chapter is as a shaken soda bottle that's opened and left alone, full of drama and substance in the beginning but embarrassingly flat at the end. I am only interested in the fifth chapter, "Kant and the Work of Art." The fifth chapter is as a shaken soda bottle that's opened and left alone, full of drama and substance in the beginning but embarrassingly flat at the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ‎Seth

    More of an essay collection than a single argument with a sustained thesis. I was hoping for the latter—a comprehensive argument for an essential definition of "art." So I was a little disappointed. Still, the first essay—"Wakeful Dreams"—was beautiful and worth reading. More of an essay collection than a single argument with a sustained thesis. I was hoping for the latter—a comprehensive argument for an essential definition of "art." So I was a little disappointed. Still, the first essay—"Wakeful Dreams"—was beautiful and worth reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    Danto brings a different angle to discussions on art and philosophy, in that he was a practicing artist before he turned his considerable talents to philosophy and aesthetics. I love his questioning and eloquent style.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Loy

    Answered my curiosity of what art is and how it could possibly be defined and interpreted.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erika Mulvenna

    I enjoyed this book and the author's point of view on modern art. Easy to read and lots of clear examples from history to support his ideas. I enjoyed this book and the author's point of view on modern art. Easy to read and lots of clear examples from history to support his ideas.

  21. 5 out of 5

    William

    I don’t think he answered the question very well at all. But the rest of the book was quite interesting.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sam Gilliland

    I appreciated the essay about photography vis-a-vis painting and the flattening of space.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marta Wayne

    need to read it again... slowly. definitely learned a lot.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Wasn't the best for reading pleasure but included very interesting material regarding perspectives of art. Easy to read. Wasn't the best for reading pleasure but included very interesting material regarding perspectives of art. Easy to read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deb Oestreicher

    This is a very interesting philosophical discussion of what art is, which takes you on a little tour of art history along the way. Danto's main points, that art is the embodiment of meaning, and that aesthetic value is not necessarily pertinent, are persuasively argued. Detailed discussions of Warhol and other artists are also compelling. A brief and thought-provoking volume. This is a very interesting philosophical discussion of what art is, which takes you on a little tour of art history along the way. Danto's main points, that art is the embodiment of meaning, and that aesthetic value is not necessarily pertinent, are persuasively argued. Detailed discussions of Warhol and other artists are also compelling. A brief and thought-provoking volume.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Henri Tournyol du Clos

    It starts well but gets bogged down in its contradictions fairly soon.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    My daughter saw this book on the counter and said, “Everyone knows what art is” and when my wife asked, “Okay, what do you think art is?” Without a pause she said that everything is art. She rapidly pointed to several objects saying “this is art”: the book cover, then the counter top, the silver bar spoon, and finally her foot! Danto addresses this particular view on page 26: "Where are the boundaries of art? What distinguishes art from anything else, if anything can be art? We are left with the My daughter saw this book on the counter and said, “Everyone knows what art is” and when my wife asked, “Okay, what do you think art is?” Without a pause she said that everything is art. She rapidly pointed to several objects saying “this is art”: the book cover, then the counter top, the silver bar spoon, and finally her foot! Danto addresses this particular view on page 26: "Where are the boundaries of art? What distinguishes art from anything else, if anything can be art? We are left with the not very consoling idea that just because anything can be art, it doesn't follow that everything is art." The inside cover description best summarizes this book: "...a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the view: interpretation...Danto concludes with a...discussion of Andy Warhol's famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent." This is further elaborated on page 149: "In a crude way, my definition had two main components in it: something is a work of art when it is has a meaning-is about something-and when that meaning is embodied in the work-which usually means: is embodied in the object in which the work of art materially consists." Regarding the things that I didn't like, I'd first say that Danto is eloquently descriptive, but isn’t always successful in conveying his meanings despite the well-crafted language. Also, he makes frequent references to artists, works of art, and other figures that would be known only to those who "play in the traffic of art". This certainly made understanding parts of the book difficult for someone like me who is unfamiliar with art in general. But, it is one of the reasons why am reading this book! Not so much a criticism, but simply recognizing that this is an advanced introduction rather than a beginner's guide. There were two takeaways that stuck with me after finishing the book. First was the realization that so much of how we view art is defined by Christianity. Whether one is a follower of Christ or not, the discussion is framed so often by religious works of art, the stories, meanings, and symbolism they portray. Secondly, how what can make a piece of art great is when it bridges the gap between the senses and the mind. His example on page 125 of how Francesca’s Resurrection was very helpful in understanding this idea: "The whole complex idea of death and resurrection, flesh and spirit, a new beginning for humankind, is embodied in a single compelling image. We can see the mystery enacted before our eyes, Piero has given the central doctrine of faith a local habitation. Of course, it requires interpretation to understand what we are looking at. But as the interpretation advances, different pieces of the scene fall into place, until we recognize that we are looking at something astonishing and miraculous. The gap between eye and mind has been bridged by "the middle term of art."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Commander Law

    Well that took a while. Not a light read. So there's not a definitive answer. Ideas to ponder though. Well that took a while. Not a light read. So there's not a definitive answer. Ideas to ponder though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    I enjoyed reading the brief descriptions of artistic movements and about the upheaval photography caused in the art world. That being said, I don't think I was in a position to enjoy much else. Having read very little philosophy the numerous philosophers and theories the author mentions felt tedious. Someone with a better philosophical base would probably enjoy this book despite some oddly structured crucial sentences. I could've done with more history and connections between movements and the p I enjoyed reading the brief descriptions of artistic movements and about the upheaval photography caused in the art world. That being said, I don't think I was in a position to enjoy much else. Having read very little philosophy the numerous philosophers and theories the author mentions felt tedious. Someone with a better philosophical base would probably enjoy this book despite some oddly structured crucial sentences. I could've done with more history and connections between movements and the philosophies Danto spends pages and pages fine-tuning but, afterall, this isn't really a book about art.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Inshele

    The title of this book caught my eyes because I have been thinking of for a really long time about what art really is and couldn't find the answer. One of the two definitions that the author gave to set the basis of art is "embodiment of meaning". I still have questions about it: what is meaning? What kind of meaning is valued as meaning from the perspective of art. It would be wonderful if the book can answer these questions, which I think are very important to define art more profoundly. I'm s The title of this book caught my eyes because I have been thinking of for a really long time about what art really is and couldn't find the answer. One of the two definitions that the author gave to set the basis of art is "embodiment of meaning". I still have questions about it: what is meaning? What kind of meaning is valued as meaning from the perspective of art. It would be wonderful if the book can answer these questions, which I think are very important to define art more profoundly. I'm still reading the book and hope I can find answers in it later.

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