Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2005 - Art - 384 pages
4 Reviews
An Incisive Account of the Bizarre, Often Bewildering Art World of Today
Arthur Danto's new collection finds him, and the art world, at a point when the art world has become pluralistic, even chaotic-with one medium as good as the next-when the moment for "next things" has passed.
Since 1984, when Danto-already an eminent philosopher--became "The Nation's" art critic, he has been one of the foremost theorists of contemporary art's history and evolution, and at the same time the most incisive and illuminating critic of new work. In his view, the historical development of art reached a kind of zenith in the pop period, most famously with Warhol's Brillo Boxes. Danto's five volumes of review essays (all published by FSG) form a kind of chronicle of the art world since the Brillo moment, and a running appraisal of the great variety of significant work made since then. In this new book, he shows how work that bridges the gap between art and life is now the definitive work of our time: Damien Hirst's arrays of skeletons and anatomical models, Barbara Kruger's tchotchke-ready slogans, Renee Cox's nude portrait of herself at the Last Supper. To the obvious question--is this stuff really art?--Danto replies with an enthusiastic yes, explaining, with a philosopher's clarity and an art lover's sense of delight, how these "unnatural wonders" show us who we are.
 

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Review: Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

A wonderful introduction to Danto's essays and the world of contemporary art. It's evident in the writing that Danto is thoroughly delighted by contemporary art and, of course, incredibly well versed in the branch of aesthetics. Read full review

Review: Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life

User Review  - Goodreads

A wonderful introduction to Danto's essays and the world of contemporary art. It's evident in the writing that Danto is thoroughly delighted by contemporary art and, of course, incredibly well versed in the branch of aesthetics. Read full review

Contents

Whitney Biennial 2000
19
Chardin
36
Damien Hirst
53
YokoOno
69
Paul McCarthy
85
Yo Mamas Last Supper
101
Picasso Erotique
117
Philip Guston
132
Leonardos Drawings
226
Matthew Barneys Cremaster Cycle
234
Christian Schad and the Sachlichfeit of Sex
242
Kazimir Malevich
251
Max Beckmann
258
Whitney Biennial 2004
265
John Currin
272
Dieter Roth
279

Alberto Giacometti
147
Surrealism and Eroticism
163
Gerhard Richter
180
Barnett Newman and the Heroic Sublime
188
Joan Mitchell
197
One Year Later
205
Reflections on Robert Mangolds Curled Figure and Column
213
The Park Avenue Cubists
219
The Art of Jeff Koons
286
Two Installations by Joshua Neustein
303
What Ever Happened
321
Fluxus and Philosophy
333
Painting and Politics
348
The Explanation and Critical Judgment
355
Index
369
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Arthur C. Danto is the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Columbia University, art critic for The Nation, and author of many books about art and philosophy. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, the artist Barbara Westman.

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