Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg

ISBN 10: 0878467017 / ISBN 13: 9780878467013
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Synopsis: In the years of his greatest dominance, Clement Greenberg almost single-handedly established Jackson Pollock and the New York School at the center of the American art world. His work set the tone for art criticism for half a century to come. This biography, based on unpublished and previously unavailable documents, interviews and archives, presents a riveting story of imagination and grandiosity, of vision and tragic excess. With clarity and insight, Alice Goldfarb Marquis, author of the widely acclaimed Marcel Duchamp: The Bachelor Stripped Bare (which the Washington Times called "the one indispensable Duchamp companion") and Art Lessons (named best nonfiction book of the year by the San Diego Book Awards), explores Greenberg's complex relations with numerous friends and lovers, including Pollock, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler and Harold Rosenberg. It also recreates the heady art scene in America from the 1940s through the 1980s, detailing the ways in which a generation of critics, with Greenberg at the helm, used personal conviction and innate notions of taste to set the course of modern art. Greenberg remains an indispensable reference in any discussion of art criticism, and Art Czar is the first biography to provide a complete, evenhanded portrait of the man, his work and his times.

From Publishers Weekly: Arguably the dominant American art critic of the 20th century, Clement Greenberg (1909–1994) established the fundamental narrative of modern art—the movement toward total abstraction—that continues to circulate in the art world to this day. In this smart, lively, thorough biography, Marquis defines the many masks the great critic wore and discarded throughout his career: self-hating Jew, camp counselor, college snob, delinquent father, failed fiction writer, power broker. She traces Greenberg's career from its meandering start on the margins of bohemia to its great moment of opportunity when the twin streams of capitalist philanthropy and communist intellectual fashion converged. She follows him through the frothy, postwar era of New York art making and into the days beyond, when Greenberg's rigid system of formal classification ceased to apply to contemporary currents of pop and conceptualism. Along the way are interesting insights into the churning auction prices, the sexual hijinks and the ritual alcoholism that made the good times mythical. Marquis, who has also written biographies of Marcel Duchamp and of MoMA's founding director, Alfred Barr, is especially good at conveying the sensual experience of mid-century New York intellectual life. For all interested in the golden years of the New York art world, and in American intellectual history in general, this volume will fascinate. (Apr.)
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Book Description Museum of Fine Arts,Boston, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the years of his greatest dominance, Clement Greenberg almost single-handedly established Jackson Pollock and the New York School at the center of the American art world. His work set the tone for art criticism for half a century to come. This biography, based on unpublished and previously unavailable documents, interviews and archives, presents a riveting story of imagination and grandiosity, of vision and tragic excess. With clarity and insight, Alice Goldfarb Marquis, author of the widely acclaimed Marcel Duchamp: The Bachelor Stripped Bare (which the Washington Times called the one indispensable Duchamp companion ) and Art Lessons (named best nonfiction book of the year by the San Diego Book Awards), explores Greenberg s complex relations with numerous friends and lovers, including Pollock, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler and Harold Rosenberg. It also recreates the heady art scene in America from the 1940s through the 1980s, detailing the ways in which a generation of critics, with Greenberg at the helm, used personal conviction and innate notions of taste to set the course of modern art. Greenberg remains an indispensable reference in any discussion of art criticism, and Art Czar is the first biography to provide a complete, evenhanded portrait of the man, his work and his times. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780878467013

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