Pravda Spasova

The term “artworld,” spelled with a fusion, is fundamental to Arthur Danto’s argument concerning the nature of art. It first appeared in Danto’s article of the same name, published in 1964 in the Journal of Philosophy (N. 61).
The idea that a work of art is conceived as art to the extent that the “art world” has recognized and declared it to be such, i.e., has given it aesthetic status, became very popular and was the starting point of George Dickey’s institutional theory. But Danto’s notion of artworld is much broader. Artworld is not an institution, it means the overall cultural atmosphere shaped by ideas, tradition, successive theories of art, and current prevailing artistic practices. Knowing, participating in this specific world enables, on the one hand, the audience to recognize something as a work, on the other hand the artist to see an audience prepared to appreciate his innovation.

The concept of the “art world” is associated with Danto’s famous thesis of the three Cs. According to him, in order for an object to be recognized as art, it must be subject to interpretation, and specifically within the art world: that is, it must refer to something that is subject to interpretation by relevant critics, is of interest to collectors, or is at least represented in relevant galleries. Thus it appears that the triumvirate: critics, collectors, curators decide what is art. However, Danto also draws attention to the object being judged itself, emphasizing its historical context and even making the aesthetic qualities of a particular work directly dependent on its “historical identity.”
Later, Danto developed his theory of the work of art in the direction of its meaning (again a function of interpretation) and the way in which this meaning is ’embodied’.

A.Danto, “The Artworld”, Journal of Philosophy, vol.LXL, No19/10, 1964
A.Danto, The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art, Columbia U.P., New York 1986
A. Danto, The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, Harvard U.P. 1981
A. Danto, The Abuse of Beauty. Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, Open Court Chicago and La Salle, Illinois 2003

G. Dickie, “Defining Art”, American Philosophical Quarterly, 6/1964
G, Dickie, The Art Circle, Haven Publications, 1984
G. Dickie, Evaluating Art, Temple U.P. Philadelphia 1988

T. Binkley, “Piece: Contra Aesthetics”, Philosophy Looks at Art, Temple U.P. 1978
L. Goehr, “Being True to the Work”, JAAC, vol. 47/1
R. Wollhaim, Art and its Objects, Cambridge U.P. 1987
П. Спасова, Американската аналитична естетика, Университетско издателство „Св. Климент Охридски”, София 2007
Danto and his Critics, ed. Mark Rollings, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

How to Cite:

Spasova, Pravda (2022) ArtWorld. Sofia University Dictionary of Philosophy. Online edition. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2021, ISSN 2815-2832.