Ideas of Arthur C. Danto, by Theme

[American, b.1924, Professor at Columbia University.]

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21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 6. Art as Institution
A thing is only seen as art in an 'artworld', which has a theory and a history
     Full Idea: To see something as art requires something the eye cannot descry - an atmosphere of artistic theory, a knowledge of the history of art: an artworld.
     From: Arthur C. Danto (The Artworld [1964], II)
     A reaction: The editors of the volume call this a revolutionary remark, followed up by Danto and George Dickie with a social and institutional account of art. Danto's key example is Warhol's Brillo pads - art in a gallery, cleaning material in a shop.
An ordinary object can be a work of art, but only if some theory of art supports it
     Full Idea: What in the end makes the difference between a Brillo box and a work of art consisting of a Brillo box is a certain theory of art. It is the theory that takes it up into the world of art, and keeps it from collapsing into the real object which it is.
     From: Arthur C. Danto (The Artworld [1964], p.581), quoted by Sondra Bacharach - Arthur C. Danto
     A reaction: It is hard to describe Duchamp's original claim that the urinal was an artwork as a 'theory'. It is a mere rebellious assertion.