AUTHUR DANTO 1964
Art as Mirror The mirror metaphor has two interpretations: Socrates/Plato: art reflects what we already know. Hamlet: Art reflects a part of us which we did not know and could not “see”.
What is Art? What makes an object a work of art? How can I include in the same category of artworks objects so distinct as Lascaux Paintings, and the works of De Kooning, Raphael, Reinhardt and Titan’s? What makes Andy Warhol's Brillo Box art and not a real object? What makes Robert Rauschenberg’s Bed (1955) art and not a real object?
Definitions of art are inadequate Finding necessary and sufficient conditionsisimpossible. Art progresses and pushes against any fixed, set criteria. The artworld is ever evolving and always expanding further the allowed limits of what is to be considered art.
Art?Lascaux Late Paleolithic (17,000 year old)
Art?De Kooning and Raphael • Abstract expressionist School of Athens
Art? • Reinhardt’s Black Box • Titan’s Sacred and Profane Love
Identifying art work “To mistake an artwork for a real object is no great feat when an artwork is the real object one mistakes it for. The problem, is how to avoid such errors, or to remove them once they are made.” The artwork is not a copy of a bed, it is a bed, a real bed! But then how can I know it is art and not a real bed?!
Andy Warhol Brillo Soap Pads Box , 1964 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFBUWz7yBUI
Theory of Art Imitation Theories Art is the imitation of something in the Real World. Art therefore is a copy of real objects. Use of the Term Art Reflection of our actual linguistic practice
Theory - Facts A theory explains facts. New facts cause us to revise our existing theories. New theories must explain both the old facts and the new facts.
Scientific Revolutions Paradigm shifts in art can be compared to paradigm shifts in science. For instance, consider the Post-Impressionist paintings of the 19th century. Either we disregard them as art or expand our theory of art to entail more than just representational pieces.
Post Impressionist Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte, 1884-85
Paul Cezanne Mount St. Victoire, 1885-7
Vincent Van Gogh The Starry Night, 1889
Vincent Van Gogh The Potato Eaters, 1885
New Ontology World 1 World 2 ART WORLD Copies ART WORLD Copies and Post-Impressionist Real Real Real “The Post-Impressionist won a victory in ontology.”
What is Art? The properties of art works can only be derived after the art work exists. Artworks are created beings/entities and what makes them art cannot be pre-fixed or predetermined.
What is Art? This question only makes sense within the context of a specific artworldthat includes the contemporary, evolving art, and its connection with a history and tradition.
“is” A is B (identity): Means that object A and B are the same object. A is P (predication): Means that P is a property of A. A is (existence): means that A has being and exists in the world.
“is” of artistic identification “I am a square and you a triangle.” This statement only makes sense if understood metaphorically. Metaphorical predication. The sea is angry.
Identifying a work of art To identify a work of art as art, we need to see the “is” metaphorical. To see the bed as a work of art and not a real bed we need to use the “is” of artistic identification. What can you say to the person who see’s Warhol's brillo box as a brillo box and not as a work of art? “We cannot help him until he has mastered the is of artistic identification and so constitutes it a work of art. If he cannot achieve this, he will never look upon artworks: he will be like a child who sees sticks as sticks.”
The artworld The metaphorical interpretation of the “is” when one says “this is a work of art” creates for us a universe with its own history, tradition, and meaning. This universe is Danto’s artworld.