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

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  340 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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 the ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published November 29th 1998 by Princeton University Press (first published 1997)
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David Williamson
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 p
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 wo ...more
Jan 26, 2008 Jana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: theory
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 (ra ...more
Erdem Tasdelen
I do agree with most of the things Danto writes about in After the End of Art, but I do have a problem with how he puts it into language. He explains a number of times why he calls it the "end" of art and how that is not synonymous the "death" of art - but if there is such an inevitable confusion, why not put it differently? I can not help but feel as though the "end" of art is an attempt to create just another grand narrative, when his claim is that the time of grand narratives to explain art i ...more
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 formu ...more
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
Melek G.
Jun 11, 2015 Melek G. marked it as dnf
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Duncan Greer
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 i ...more
Arturo Javier
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 va ...more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Changed entirely how I think about art. It started me thinking for myself.
Danto! I love Danto! And not only because I love to say his name...try it.
Bill Gusky
Seminal. You need this book.
yes darling, but is it art
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Arthur Coleman Danto was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 1, 1924. He is an American art critic and professor of philosophy. He is best known as the influential, long-time art critic for The Nation and for his work in philosophical aesthetics and philosophy of history, though he has contributed significantly to a number of fields. His interests span thought, feeling, philosophy of art, theor ...more
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“In my own version of the idea of 'what art wants,' the end and fulfillment of the history of art is the philosophical understanding of what art is, an understanding that is achieved in the way that understanding in each of our lives is achieved, namely, from the mistakes we make, the false paths we follow, the false images we have come to abandon until we learn wherein our limits consist, and then how to live within those limits. ” 7 likes
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