Anything Goes: the Work of Art and the Historical Future

Arthur Danto, Charles Altieri, Anne M. Wagner, and Anthony J. Cascardi
October 1997
Engraving of the devil leaning back and saying "Finis," or "The End."

“We have reached the end of the history of art,” says Arthur Danto. Contemporary arts exist laterally in such a myriad of forms and theories that one can no longer give art’s progression a narrative format. Danto's essay, and the discussions that follow it, explore the ramifications of this position. While modernism sought after what art itself is, what it is in its essence, and thus opened up diverse forms of exploration, this alone cannot explain how we got to the state of art as it is now, that of “anything goes.” Danto informs us that this “end” of art should not leave us depressed or alarmed, but rather exhilarated, as a “liberation of art beyond history” opens up new possibilities of creation already being implemented in the diverse applications of contemporary artists.

Commentary is provided by Charles Altieri (English), Anne M. Wagner (History of Art), and Anthony J. Cascardi (Rhetoric, Comparative Literature, Spanish & Portuguese).

Please note: this volume is no longer available for purchase.