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Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present Paperback – March 12, 1997
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"A remarkable book. At once a tour through the last four years in the art world, a philosophical disquisition on culture and history, and a piece of good writing." -- Jane Mendelsohn, The Village Voice
"A triumph of philosophically informed criticism and artistically informed philosophy. . . . There is an element here which, curious to remark, many contemporary critics either lack or won't betray: Danto adores art. . . . It has been a pleasure to read this immensely intelligent book." -- Dennis Dutton, Philosophy and Literature
"Mr. Danto's insights are distinguished by his own broad frames of reference; an occasional and almost overwhelming attachment to, and description of, the sheer captivating sensuality of a particular work, from 'The Kiss' by Gustav Klimt to Frank Stella's 'Bijoux Indiscrets'; and a determination to make the reader, and the essayist, feel, see and, above all, think." -- Marina Vaizey, The New York Times Book Review
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Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com
In Encounters and Reflections, Danto broadens the debate on painting and sculture in the late eighties to not only include the major points on the map - recent pop favorites such as Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe - but also current assumptions about the masters - Van Gogh, John Singer Sargent, Klee among others - with the same lucidity that characterizes his writings on philosophy, primarily on Nietzsche, Sartre and the American Analytical School. His review of two Whitney Biennals sprawl into a committed investigation of the art scene from a vantage point of an aesthete whose grit is matched only by a desire to reach into the past as a vanishing point so as to better relate the perspective that drives the art world and its genius.
Danto amuses and astounds likewise as he expatiates on recent revolutionaries such as Cindy Sherman, Eric Fischl, and Anselm Kiefer, but where he is most insightful is in three final essays that probe the foundation of modernism, posing questions about the nature of the masterpiece and the evolution and meaning of art. This collection of essays is an inspiring approach to the diverse strands that cordon off the art world to the lay viewer, as it defines the intrepid place it inhabits only to take us beyond such definitions and reflect on its phenomenological essence as cultural artifacts loaded with theoretical strokes most are blind to. Exceptional and versatile, intellectually keen and philosophically blunt. Not to be missed if you are a museum goer or if you are interested in the value and meaning of art in the present age.
Wth that said Beyond the Brillo Box is just as fabulous a read...