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The Transfiguration of the Commonplace

The Transfiguration of the Commonplace

A Philosophy of Art

Arthur C. Danto

ISBN 9780674903463

Publication date: 03/15/1983

Arthur C. Danto argues that recent developments in the art world, in particular the production of works of art that cannot be told from ordinary things, make urgent the need for a new theory of art and make plain the factors such a theory can and cannot involve. In the course of constructing such a theory, he seeks to demonstrate the relationship between philosophy and art, as well as the connections that hold between art and social institutions and art history.

The book distinguishes what belongs to artistic theory from what has traditionally been confused with it, namely aesthetic theory and offers as well a systematic account of metaphor, expression, and style, together with an original account of artistic representation. A wealth of examples, drawn especially from recent and contemporary art, illuminate the argument.

Praise

  • This book is a long meditation on Brillo boxes putting themselves forward as works-of-art, or, ‘gerrymandered’ (Danto raids everywhere for his brilliant figurations) by interpretation into expressiveness, into metaphoricality. Malraux proposes seeing art as a metamorphosis performed by museums and juxtaposition and time (history). Danto proposes art as a metaphor of the commonplace. Art makes obvious things odd; it paradoxicalizes the ordinary. It defamiliarizes. Danto is fun… Buy it and read.

    —Commonweal

Author

  • Arthur C. Danto was Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.

Book Details

  • 224 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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