The Abuse of Beauty

Arthur Coleman Danto

Danto merely and entertainingly traces the evolution of the idea of magnificence over the previous century and explores the way it was faraway from the definition of artwork. Magnificence then got here to be thought to be a severe aesthetic crime, whereas 100 years in the past it was nearly unanimously thought of the supreme goal of artwork. Magnificence will not be, and shouldn’t be, the be-all and end-all of artwork, however it has an essential place, and isn’t one thing to be averted.
Danto attracts eruditely upon the ideas of artists and critics equivalent to Rimbaud, Fry, Matisse, the Dadaists, Duchamp, and Greenberg, in addition to on that of philosophers like Hume, Kant, and Hegel. Danto agrees with the dethroning of magnificence because the essence of artwork, and maintains with telling examples that the majority artwork will not be, the truth is, stunning. He argues, nevertheless, for the partial rehabilitation of magnificence and the elimination of any vital taboo towards magnificence. Magnificence is one among the many many modes throughwhich ideas are introduced to human sensibility in artwork: disgust, horror, sublimity, and sexuality being amongst different such modes.