Arthur C. Danto’s Andy Warhol

ARTHUR C. DANTO, who not only seeks but finds, is a luckier man than his namesake, the legendary king who never discovers the Holy Grail, for which he so desperately searches. Indeed, while Danto’s admirers will have previously come across many of the arguments in this slim and elegant volume, things get exciting and, I have to say, a bit surprising in its final chapter, where Warhol’s Brillo Boxes are compared to the Grail. Like the Santo Cáliz, a regular-looking bowl in Valencia, Spain, believed by some to have touched Christ’s lips (Danto considers it plausible), the Brillo Boxes are disguised by their ordinariness. In fact, Danto remarks, this is true also of Jesus himself, who kept his divine powers invisible most of the time and walked on earth like an ordinary man among men. “Imagine that there was a man just his age in Jerusalem,” he writes, “who looked enough like Jesus that the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2009 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.