Here, Arne De Boever proposes the notion of aesthetic exceptionalism to describe the widespread belief that art and artists are exceptional. Against Aesthetic Exceptionalism challenges that belief by focusing on the sovereign artist as genius, as well as the original artwork as the foundation of the art market. Engaging with sculpture, conceptual artwork, and painting by emerging and established artists, De Boever proposes a worldly, democratic notion of unexceptional art as an antidote to the problems of aesthetic exceptionalism.
Excerpt from “Pedestrian at Best,” performed by Courtney Barnett, written and composed by Courtney Barnett, published by Third Side Music, used by permission.
Portions of chapters 2 and 4 previously appeared in a different form in “Art and Exceptionalism: A Critique,” boundary 2 45, no. 4: 161–81; used by permission of Duke University Press.
Copyright 2019 by Arne De Boever
University of Minnesota Press
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