The concept of ‘autonomy’ came up in the 19th century period of Romanticism. The artist was expected to be ‘original’, innovating, choosing his course, not to be influenced by the conventions or forces of society. It is ‘l’art pour l’art’. And quite a number of artists used ‘autonomy’ as an excuse to develop rather provocative works.
But here are the contradictions. Those artists who wish to provoke do so clearly in reaction to societal conventions. And those who prefer to remain unprovocative do so in order to sell their work. So the whole idea of an own isolated artistic territory appears rather relative. Autonomy is just a romantic fiction.