“If there was nothing visible in Warhol’s sculpture to distinguish it from an ordinary object, Mr. Danto wondered, what made it art? At a time when more and more artists were creating works lacking traditional artistic qualities, this was an urgent question.
“Leaving aside that Warhol’s sculpture was made of silk-screened plywood, not cardboard, the defining feature of the sculptural ‘Brillo Box’ was, in Mr. Danto’s view, that it had a meaning; it was about something — consumer culture, for one thing. The real Brillo box only had a functional purpose. But how would you know whether you were looking at a meaningful or a merely functional object? The short answer was, you knew because the Warhol box was presented as art in an art gallery.”
– Lou Reed wasn’t the only public figure with a Warhol connection who died recently. Art critic Arthur Danto passed away last Friday at age 89. I’m unfamiliar with his work, but like I always say with art critics — and especially those with connections to Warhol’s World — I’ll get there some day, possibly.