The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art


"A century ago, beauty was almost unanimously considered the supreme purpose of art and even synonymous with artistic excellence. Yet today beauty has come to be viewed as an aesthetic crime. Artists are now chastised by critics if their works seem to aim at beauty. In the last few years, however, some artists, critics, and curators have begun to give beauty another look. The resulting discussion is often confused, with arts pundits sometimes seeing beauty as a betrayal of the artist's authentic role, other times working hard to find beauty in the apparently grotesque or disgusting. Leading art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto here explains how the anti-beauty revolution was hatched, and how the modernist avantgarde dislodged beauty from its throne. Danto argues that the modernists were right to deny that beauty is vital to art, but also that beauty is essential to human life and need not always be excluded from art." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Chicago
Publication year:
  • 2003


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