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Andy Warhol
Cover of Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
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"Astutely traces the ripple effects of Warhol's blurring of the lines between commercial and fine art, and art and real life...masterful."—Booklist (starred review)

Art critic, philosopher, and winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award 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.

By drawing on subject matter understandable to the ordinary American, Warhol revolutionized the way we look at art. In this book, 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.

"Astutely traces the ripple effects of Warhol's blurring of the lines between commercial and fine art, and art and real life...masterful."—Booklist (starred review)

Art critic, philosopher, and winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award 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.

By drawing on subject matter understandable to the ordinary American, Warhol revolutionized the way we look at art. In this book, 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.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 17, 2009
    This penetrating new entry in Yale's Icons of America series synthesizes biography, cultural criticism and aesthetics. Former Nation
    art critic and Columbia philosophy professor emeritus Danto (After the End of Art
    ) argues that Andy Warhol radically redefined the question of art. His Brillo Boxes
    and Campbell's Soup Cans
    challenged the viewer to ask, “What is the difference between two things, exactly alike, one of which is art and one of which is not?” Danto, whose visit to a Warhol show in 1964 inspired him to become a philosopher of art, views many of Warhol's most important works as answers to such philosophical puzzles. Danto's writing is elegant and his insights acute: the Marilyn Diptych
    's “transformative repetition” is linked to Coltrane's compositions; Warhol's final Last Supper
    series represented, Danto argues convincingly in a profound final chapter, the culmination of the artist's “mission to externalize the interiority of our shared world.” This valuable work of critical cultural analysis reveals aspects of Warhol so far uncovered and unexplored that will appeal widely to the interested generalist as well as to scholars of contemporary art, American culture and aesthetics. Photos.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from November 1, 2009
    An artist turned philosopher, Danto was transfixed and transformed by Andy Warhols shocking Brillo Box show in 1964. Now one of the worlds most prominent art critics and philosophers of art, Danto focuses on Warhols philosophical mind and the tremendously original ideas behind his Brillo Boxes and paintings of Campbells Soup cans, money, and celebrities in this fresh, supple, and illuminating inquiry. As complex as Dantos perceptions are, his language is always direct and clear, his discoveries arresting as he explicates Warhols sensitivity to the tragedy of the commonplace; trust in sameness, multiplicity, and collaboration; and attempts to capture unedited reality. Danto astutely traces the ripple effects of Warhols blurring of the lines between commercial and fine art, and art and real life; the startling power of his portraits, particularly of Marilyn and Mao, and his provocative, maddening films. Danto draws on just enough biographical and historical coverage to support his penetrating insights into Warhols personal struggles, blatant quest for fame, and confounding public persona. A masterful crystallization of why and how Warhols revolutionary techniques and creations shattered the traditional, restrictive definition of art, and razed the way for todays creative pluralism and artistic freedom.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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    Yale University Press (Ignition)
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