Collected Essays and Criticism, Volume I: Perceptions and Judgments, 1939-1944

Overview

Clement Greenberg (1909–1994), champion of abstract expressionism and modernism—of Pollock, Miró, and Matisse—has been esteemed by many as the greatest art critic of the second half of the twentieth century, and possibly the greatest art critic of all time. On radio and in print, Greenberg was the voice of "the new American painting," and a central figure in the postwar cultural history of the United States.

Greenberg first established his reputation writing for the Partisan ...

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Overview

Clement Greenberg (1909–1994), champion of abstract expressionism and modernism—of Pollock, Miró, and Matisse—has been esteemed by many as the greatest art critic of the second half of the twentieth century, and possibly the greatest art critic of all time. On radio and in print, Greenberg was the voice of "the new American painting," and a central figure in the postwar cultural history of the United States.

Greenberg first established his reputation writing for the Partisan Review, which he joined as an editor in 1940. He became art critic for the Nation in 1942, and was associate editor of Commentary from 1945 until 1957. His seminal essay, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" set the terms for the ongoing debate about the relationship of modern high art to popular culture. Though many of his ideas have been challenged, Greenberg has influenced generations of critics, historians, and artists, and he remains influential to this day.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review - Barry Gewen
"[Greenberg] is widely and rightly regaded as the most important American art critic since World War II."
The New Criterion - Hilton Kramer
With the publication of the first two volumes of Clement Greenberg's Collected Essays and Criticism, we are at last on our way to having a comprehensive edition of the most important body of art criticism produced by an American writer in this century. The two volumes now available—Perceptions and Judgments, 1939-1944 and Arrogant Purpose, 1945-1949—bring together for the first time Mr. Greenberg's critical writings from the decade in which he emerged as the most informed and articulate champion of the New York School as well as one of our most trenchant analysts of the modern cultural scene.
New York Times Book Review
[Greenberg] is widely and rightly regaded as the most important American art critic since World War II.

— Barry Gewen

The New Criterion
With the publication of the first two volumes of Clement Greenberg's Collected Essays and Criticism, we are at last on our way to having a comprehensive edition of the most important body of art criticism produced by an American writer in this century. The two volumes now available—Perceptions and Judgments, 1939-1944 and Arrogant Purpose, 1945-1949—bring together for the first time Mr. Greenberg's critical writings from the decade in which he emerged as the most informed and articulate champion of the New York School as well as one of our most trenchant analysts of the modern cultural scene.

— Hilton Kramer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226306216
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/1988
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Clement Greenberg (1909–1994), champion of abstract expressionism and modernism—of Pollock, Miró, and Matisse—has been esteemed by many as the greatest art critic of the second half of the twentieth century, and possibly the greatest art critic of all time. On radio and in print, Greenberg was the voice of "the new American painting," and a central figure in the postwar cultural history of the United States.

Greenberg first established his reputation writing for the Partisan Review, which he joined as an editor in 1940. He became art critic for The Nation in 1942, and was associate editor of Commentary from 1945 until 1957. His seminal essay, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" set the terms for the ongoing debate about the relationship of modern high art to popular culture. Though many of his ideas have been challenged, Greenberg has influenced generations of critics, historians, and artists, and he remains influential to this day.

John O’Brian is professor of art history at the University of British Colombia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Editorial Note
Introduction by John O'Brian
 
1939
1. The Beggar's Opera—After Marx: Review of A Penny for the Poor by Bertolt Brecht
2. Avant-Garde and Kitsch
 
1940
3. Towards a Newer Laocoon
4. An American View

1941
5. The Renaissance of the Little Mag: Review of Accent, Diogens, Experimental Review, Vice Versa, and View
6. Aesthetics as Science: Review of The Structure of Art
7. Bertolt Brecht's Poetry
8. Review of Exhibitions of Joan Miró, Ferdinand Léger, and Wassily Kandinsky
9. Art Chronicle: On Paul Klee (1870-1940)
10. Poetry Continues: Review of New Poems: 1940, edited by Oscar Williams
11. Review of Selected Poems by John Wheelwright
12. Review of Rosa Luxemburg, Her Life and Work by Paul Frölich
13. Venusberg to Nuremberg: Review of Metapolitics by Peter Viereck
14. Review of The Philosophy of Literary Form by Kenneth Burke
15. Review of What Are Years? by Marianne Moore and Selected Poems by George Barker
 
1942
16. America, America!: Review of The Mind's Geography by George Zabriskie and The Poem of Bunker Hill by Harry Brown
17. Review of Vlaminck by Klaus G. Perls; Paul Klee, edited by Karl Nierendorf; and They Taught Themselves by Sidney Janis
18. Poems: A Note by the Editor
19. Review of Be Angry at the Sun by Robinson Jeffers
20. Review of an Exhibition of André Masson
21. Review of an Exhibition of Darrel Austin
22. Review of the Exhibition 150 Years of American Primitives
23. Helter Skelter: Review of New Directions in Prose and Poetry: 1941, edited by James Laughlin
24. Review of Four Exhibitions of Abstract Art
25. Study in Stieglitz: Review of The Emergence of an American Art by Jerome Mellquist
26. Response to "An Inquiry on Dialectic Materialism"
27. Primitive Painting
28. Review of The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers
29. Review of Blood for a Stranger by Randall Jarrell; The Second World by R. P. Blackmur; Lyra, edited by Alex Comfort and Robert Greacen; Three New Poets by Roy McFadden; and Ruins and Visions by Stephen Spender
30. Review of Exhibitions of Pavel Tchelitchew, John Flannagan, and Peggy Bacon
31. Review of an Exhibition of Morris Graves
32. The American Color: Review of Currier & Ives by Harry T. Peters
33. Reviews of Exhibitions of Corot, Cézanne, Eilshemius, and Wilfredo Lam
34. Review of a Joint Exhibition of Joseph Cornell and Laurence Vail
 
1943
35. Review of the Whitney Annual and the Exhibition Artists for Victory
36. Review of an Exhibition of Hananiah Harari
37. Steig's Gallery: Review of The Lonely Ones by William Steig
38. Review of the Exhibition American Sculpture of Our Time
39. Review of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
40. Pioneer and Philistine: Review of American Pioneer Arts and Artists by Carl W. Dreppard
41. Review of the Exhibition From Paris to the Sea Down the River Seine
42. Review of Exhibitions of William Dean Fausett and Stuart Davis
43. Review of Poems by Stefan George
44. Goose-Step in Tishomingo
45. Review of Mondrian's New York Boogie Woogie and Other New Acquisitions at the Museum of Modern Art
46. Reconsideration of Mondrian's New York Boogie Woogie
47. The Jewish Dickens: Review of The World of Sholom Aleichem by Maurice Samuel
48. Review of Exhibitions of Alexander Calder and Giorgio de Chirico
49. Review of Exhibitions of Van Gogh and the Remarque Collection
50. Review of Exhibitions of Charles Burchfield, Milton Avery, and Eugene Berman
51. Review of Exhibitions of Marc Chagall, Lionel Feininger, and Jackson Pollock
52. Review of Exhibitions of Louis Eilshemius and Nicholas Mocharniuk
53. Seurat, Science, and Art: Review of Georges Seurat by John Rewald
54. Review of an Exhibition of John Marin

1944
55. Review of the Whitney Annual and the Exhibition Romantic Painting in America
56. Review of an Exhibition of André Derain
57. Under Forty: A Symposium on American Literature and the Younger Generation of American Jews
58. Review of Napoleon III by Alberg Guérard
59. The Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors and the Museum of Modern Art
60. Thurber's Creatures: Review of Men, Women and Dogs by James Thurber
61. Letter to the Editor of Politics
62. Obituary of Mondrian
63. Review of Great American Paintings by John Walker and Macgill James
64. War and the Intellectual: Review of War Diary by Jean Malaquais
65. A Victorian Novel
66. Abstract Art
67. Review of an Exhibition of Arnold Friedman
68. Review of Exhibitions of Mark Tobey and Juan Gris
69. Review of The Story of Painting by Thomas Craven
70. Review of Exhibitions of Joan Miró and André Masson
71. Review of a Group Exhibition at the Art of This Century Gallery, and of Exhibitions of Maria Martins and Luis Quintanilla
72. De Profundis: Review of The Bottomless Pit by Gustav Regler
73. A New Installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a Review of the Exhibition Art in Progress
74. Review of Camille Pissarro: Letters to His Son Lucien, edited by John Rewald
75. Mr. Eliot and Notions of Culture: A Discussion
76. Review of Two Exhibitions of Thomas Eakins
77. Alone: Review of Dangling Man by Saul Bellow
78. Surrealist Painting
79. Review of an Exhibition of José Guadaloupe Posada
80. Review of an Exhibition of Abraham Rattner
81. Context of Impressionism: Review of French Impressionists and Their Contemporaries, prefaced by Edward Alden Jewell
82. Review of an Exhibition of Winslow Homer
83. Review of Art in the Armed Forces and Of Men and Battles by David Fredenthal and Richard Wilcox
84. Review of Exhibitions of William Baziotes and Robert Motherwell 85. Review of an Exhibition of Eugène Delacroix
86. Review of an Exhibition of John Tunnard
87. Review of Leonardo da Vinci by R. Langston Douglas
88. Some Excellent Reproductions: Review of Paul Klee, Drawings by Will Grohmann and Masterpieces of Painting from the National Gallery of Art
89. Review of Two Exhibitions of Marsden Hartley

Biography
Chronology to 1949
Index

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