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Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Arthur C. Danto's essays not only critique bodies of work but reflect upon art's conceptual evolution as well, drawing for the reader a kind of "philosophical map" indicating how art and the criteria for judging it has changed over the twentieth century. In Unnatural Wonders the renowned critic finds himself at a point when contemporary art has become wholly pluralistic, e ...more
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Published October 1st 2007 by Columbia University Press (first published February 16th 2005)
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Denise Spicer
With the subtitle “The Gap Between Art and Life” the book sounded interesting but in fact is a dull treatise with academic/scholarly pretensions and focus. Almost exclusively about the art industry establishment and will likely appeal primarily to Art Students/Critics and possibly gallery owners and professors. Covers “in” celebrity artists (such as Picasso and Yoko Ono), contemporary art and politics. Perhaps due to the author’s philosophical bent the text seems dry and almost unreadable.
Wayne
I didn't really give it up. It's one of those things I read when I feel like I don't know about art. And then I read Arthur C. Danto and realize, he just sort of knows about art, moreover, knows more about talking like he's the pre-eminent authority on artistic meaning. But sometimes he is, and sometimes he's just full of shit.
Amy
Jul 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bill Gusky
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rich, coherent, spewing connections to make your art world utter sensibility of a kind, for once.
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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.

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