Ever since artworks came to be seen as aesthetic forms, there has been a tension between the theoretical structures involved in our experiences of art and those experiences themselves. That tension has commonly been most visible in the artwork itself. But do we need aesthetics to appreciate a work of art? Aesthetics and the Work of Art explores this question through dialogue with philosophical, literary and visual works that are reproduced alongside the collection's essays: Theodor W. Adorno's draft introduction to his posthumous Aesthetic Theory, Franz Kafka's story 'A Report to an Academy', and Gerhard Richter's painting Betty (1988). By focusing - separately or conjointly - on this shared body of work and thought, the leading voices gathered here prompt us to face the mutual dependency - and troubled interfaces - between art, and thinking about art.