Homemade Esthetics: Observations on Art and Taste

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9780195124330: Homemade Esthetics: Observations on Art and Taste

Thanks to his unsurpassed eye and his fearless willingness to take a stand, Clement Greenberg (1909 1994) became one of the giants of 20th century art criticism a writer who set the terms of critical discourse from the moment he burst onto the scene with his seminal essays Avant Garde and Kitsch (1939) and Towards a Newer Laocoon (1940). In this work, which gathers previously uncollected essays and a series of seminars delivered at Bennington in 1971, Greenberg provides his most expansive statement of his views on taste and quality in art, arguing for an esthetic that flies in the face of current art world fashions. Greenberg insists despite the attempts from Marcel Duchamp onwards to escape the jurisdiction of taste by producing an art so disjunctive that it cannot be judged that taste is inexorable.
He argues that standards of quality in art, the artist's responsibility to seek out the hardest demands of a medium, and the critic's responsibility to discriminate, are essential conditions for great art. The obsession with innovation the epidemic of newness leads, in Greenbergs view, to the boringness of so much avant garde art. He discusses the interplay of expectation and surprise in aesthetic experience, and the exalted consciousness produced by great art. Homemade Esthetics allows us particularly in the transcribed seminar sessions, never before published to watch the critics mind at work, defending (and at times reconsidering) his theories. His views, often controversial, are the record of a lifetime of looking at and thinking about art as intensely as anyone ever has.

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About the Author:


Clement Greenberg's books include Art and Culture and four volumes of collected essays and criticism. Charles T. Harrison of the Open University, co editor of Art in Theory 1900 1990 and one of the leading writers on modernism, has written an introduction placing Homemade Esthetics in the context of Greenbergs work and the evolution of 20th century critism.

Review:

"Greenberg will be remembered...for having produced a body of writing about art that is fully worthy of comparison with the best work of the best critics of the twentieth century. Even now it is impossible to read him without being stirred by his aesthetic convictions."--Terry Teachout,
National Review best work of the best critics of the twentieth century.

Greenberg's 'Seminars,'collected here for the first time, are the summation of his remarkable career as a critic adn theorist.... Going through this book I was reminded yet again what a compelling writer Greenberg is--an how much pleasure I get from reading him."--John O'Brian, editor, Clement
Greenberg: The Collected Essays and Criticism

"Greenberg wrote the abiding philosophy of art for the period in which he flourished, and he did so in language that embodied the virtues of the aesthetic it enjoined."--Arthur Danto, Artforum

"Not many in the long history of art have looded as deeply into art's mystery, or dreamed more deeply on its purpose.... There is treasure on every page."--Jules Olitsky

"No one who cares about modern culture can ignore Clement Greenberg's densely reasoned arguments and often dazzling insightful observations."--Karen Wilkin, The New Criterion

"Greenberg's clearsightedness in the face of paintings and sculptures, whether seen in a gallery, a museum or in the studio was a revelation. [His seminars] are as pertinent today as when they where delivered nearly thirty years ago."--Anthony Caro

"This collection of essays showcases Clement Greenberg at his best: provoking, iconoclastic, aggravating, but, above all, lucid."--Art Times

"A spirited book of what we talk about when we talk about art."--ForeWord

"These essays demonstrate Greenberg's capacity for didactic and uncompromising commentary and his sheer pleasure in his stature as a critic, a thinker, as a force to be reckoned with."--The Boston Review

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Greenberg, Clement
Published by Oxford University Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0195124332 ISBN 13: 9780195124330
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Greenberg, Clement
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0195124332 ISBN 13: 9780195124330
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