Feminist Criticism: On Disturbatory Art and Beauty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Beginning in the 1980s, Arthur C. Danto offered interpretations of artworks by a wide array of artists, including Eva Hesse, Judy Chicago, and Cindy Sherman, whose “disturbatory” works were either ignored or denounced by mainstream critics at the time. This chapter begins with Danto's appreciation of women's unique contributions to art, including those of his beloved wife, Barbara Westman Danto. It highlights the role of female artists in his developing vocabulary of feminist art criticism and finally note his transition to feminist aesthetics. Like his characterization of Cindy Sherman, Danto saw many women seeking to destabilize accepted categories and disrespect borders through performance art. With the influence of feminism rising, “the experience of art becomes a moral adventure rather than merely an aesthetic interlude”. Danto was able to discern the aesthetic inconsistencies between Hesse's work and her sense of self and female identity because he was a man with a feminist consciousness and sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Arthur C. Danto
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781119154242
ISBN (Print)9781119154211
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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