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The Madonna of the Future: Essays in a Pluralistic Art World
The Madonna of the Future finds Danto at the point where all the vectors of the art world intersect: those of traditional painting, Pop art, mixed media, and installation art; those of art and philosophy; those of the specialist who brings theory to bear on the work and the viewer who appreciates it primarily visually.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 4th 2001 by University of California Press
(first published July 2000)
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I was given Danto's Unnatural Wonders as a gift when my Senior Project went up in college - and reading it was a relatively transformative experience. It introduced me to a flavor of art criticism - one that mingles philosophy, artistic biography, and keen visual analysis in a way that I found deeply appealing. Of course, it also helped that several of the shows Danto discusses in the book were ones which I had actually seen - so I could measure his writing against my own experience.
Arthur C. Danto was Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation. He was the author of numerous books, including Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life, After the End of Art, and Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective.