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Notes & Comments

March 2014

But is it art?

On art: context, meaning, and vandalism


Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917

A couple of months ago in this space, we said farewell to Arthur Danto, the philosopher and art critic, who died last fall at eighty-nine. Professor Danto had interests in philosophy that were distinct from his interest in art, but there was one area of overlap. It revolved around the question “What is art?” Professor Danto had many clever things to say about this question, particularly in his book The Transfiguration of the Commonplace (1981). Why is it, he wondered, that one red square is just a red square while another, visually indistinguishable from the first, is Number 34, a contemporary abstract masterpiece in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art? Or imagine two additional red sq ...

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 32 March 2014, on page 1

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/But-is-it-art--7835

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On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
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