Andy Warhol (Icons of America)
Arthur C. Danto
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In a work of great wisdom and insight, art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto delivers a compact, masterful tour of Andy Warhol’s personal, artistic, and philosophical transformations. Danto traces the evolution of the pop artist, including his early reception, relationships with artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and the Factory phenomenon. He offers close readings of individual Warhol works, including their social context and philosophical dimensions, key differences with predecessors such as Marcel Duchamp, and parallels with successors like Jeff Koons. Danto brings to bear encyclopedic knowledge of Warhol’s time and shows us Warhol as an endlessly multidimensional figure—artist, political activist, filmmaker, writer, philosopher—who retains permanent residence in our national imagination.
Danto suggests that "what makes him an American icon is that his subject matter is always something that the ordinary American understands: everything, or nearly everything he made art out of came straight out of the daily lives of very ordinary Americans. . . . The tastes and values of ordinary persons all at once were inseparable from advanced art."
night the lines stretched out the doors of the building and down the street. But that had more to do with the fact that there was room inside for only a handful of people at a time. Most of the literature on the Brillo Box, critical and philosophical, tends to talk about the individual boxes, since the art-reality contrast lies there. The term installation as a designation of a distinct genre of art first appears in the OED in 1969, but doubtless was in use before then. It is incontestable that
without seeking his wisdom and human awareness. I owe to Ti-Grace Atkinson what special knowledge I may have of the devious Valerie Solanas, my sensitivity to the deep issues of feminism—and I cherish the truth that the master painter Sean Scully has never allowed his uncertainty regarding this book’s subject in any way to stand in the way of acknowledging the certainty of his friendship with its author. Finally this book and many of its peers owe their existence to Georges and Anne Borchardt,
racial and ethnic groups for recognition of their art by the defining institutions of the art world, most importantly by the museum. Multiculturalism inevitably diversified the curriculum of art history and the exhibitional programs of museums and galleries. The art world was growing into something that would barely have been recognized in the 1960s, let alone the 1950s, when Abstract Expressionism reigned supreme. It did not lack a logic, but the logic of art and of art appreciation became
have been in 1964, for that matter. Critics saw the camouflage works as ready-made abstractions, but what they mean is that their subject is completely hidden. The camouflage swatch has in fact become the portrait of the political reality of our time, too horrifying to look upon directly. The inference, on seeing someone wearing camouflage, that it is a solder is based on a social truth that camouflages, is the visible mark of the military in our time. My feeling is that the hiddenness implied
116, 129–130, 144 celebrities, 114–115, 118, 122 at the Factory, 84–85, 88, 94 movie stars, 24, 128 publicity photographs, 17, 24, 40 suicides of, 126–127 in Warhol’s television show, 86, 87–88 Cézanne, Paul, 143 chance aspect of artistic production, 54–55 Chelsea Girls film (Warhol), 82, 98 Cinecitta film studio, Rome, 122, 124, 125 civil rights, 7 Clemente, Francesco, 114–116 Clift, Montgomery, 94 Coca Cola (Warhol), 19 Colacello, Bob, 84, 87, 89–90, 117, 124, 132 Cold War, xii,