by Arthur C. Danto ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 1, 1992
Sixteen philosophical essays (most previously published in academic journals) that, in the vein of Encounters and Reflections (1990), wrestle with questions of art by the critic who contends that Andy Warhol brought Western art history to an end. What Danto (Philosophy/Columbia) does so brilliantly is to take Warhol's Brillo Box, or a painting by Mark Tansey, or the growing presence of museum stores and then, by invoking Hegel, Kant, Rembrandt, etc., set these art-world phenomena ablaze with meaning. A solid-black canvas in a 1990 exhibition becomes a symbol of the final moment of the Modernist narrative—what Danto calls ``the end of art''—just as an open window seen soon after at the Museum of Modern Art's ``High & Low'' exhibition signifies the opening-up of the museum to real life. Not without humor does Danto, in ``Censorship and Subsidy in the Arts,'' compare crowd- pressed viewers at the Boston Museum's Monet exhibition with pilgrims at Santiago de Compostela, both being ``in the presence of things of great moment, worth a sacrifice.'' In another of the most engaging pieces here, ``The Museum of Museums,'' he explains the country's ``resurgent puritanism'' as stemming in part from ``the sense of the Temple profaned.'' Confronting Robert Mapplethorpe's ``terrifyingly obscene'' photographs, Danto claims to hate the experts who read them purely as ``formal exercises.'' And he persuasively argues that ``art cannot be integral to meaningful lives without the shadow of dissent, difference, offense.'' Danto's arguments on the nature of art, metaphor, beauty, values, and narrative tradition are long, detailed, and complex: ``Explanation through reasons as against explanation through causes connects with our distinction, in the way they tend to cancel one another out.'' An intellectual update from a profound thinker whose voice enhances the art and culture he contemplates. (Thirteen illustrations—not seen.)
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1992
Page Count: 320
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1992
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by Sherill Tippins ‧ RELEASE DATE: Dec. 3, 2013
A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.
A revealing biography of the fabled Manhattan hotel, in which generations of artists and writers found a haven.
Turn-of-the century New York did not lack either hotels or apartment buildings, writes Tippins (February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America, 2005). But the Chelsea Hotel, from its very inception, was different. Architect Philip Hubert intended the elegantly designed Chelsea Association Building to reflect the utopian ideals of Charles Fourier, offering every amenity conducive to cooperative living: public spaces and gardens, a dining room, artists’ studios, and 80 apartments suitable for an economically diverse population of single workers, young couples, small families and wealthy residents who otherwise might choose to live in a private brownstone. Hubert especially wanted to attract creative types and made sure the building’s walls were extra thick so that each apartment was quiet enough for concentration. William Dean Howells, Edgar Lee Masters and artist John Sloan were early residents. Their friends (Mark Twain, for one) greeted one another in eight-foot-wide hallways intended for conversations. In its early years, the Chelsea quickly became legendary. By the 1930s, though, financial straits resulted in a “down-at-heel, bohemian atmosphere.” Later, with hard-drinking residents like Dylan Thomas and Brendan Behan, the ambience could be raucous. Arthur Miller scorned his free-wheeling, drug-taking, boozy neighbors, admitting, though, that the “great advantage” to living there “was that no one gave a damn what anyone else chose to do sexually.” No one passed judgment on creativity, either. But the art was not what made the Chelsea famous; its residents did. Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Robert Mapplethorpe, Phil Ochs and Sid Vicious are only a few of the figures populating this entertaining book.A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.
Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2013
Page Count: 448
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013
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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.
Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.
Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.
Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015
Page Count: 432
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015
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