Public Art: Monuments, Memorials, and Earthworks




Danto's discussion of site-related and site-specific art opens up perspectives on both his conception of the ethics and politics of public art and on his ultimately idealistic ontology of art. Danto's analysis of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial involves an important distinction between monuments and memorials that is highly relevant to current controversies, like those about Confederate statues. His differing responses to two site-related public art works by Richard Serra exhibit a nuanced sensibility to the taste of the public audience and the aesthetics of genius loci . Danto's enthusiastic account of several site–specific works involving minimal interventions on the ground (some of which remained in the planning stage) disclose his inclination to reduce art to its idea, prescinding from its material presence.

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