Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyVillage Voice art critic Schjeldahl's reviews may occasion controversy--for example, his curt dismissal of Australian aboriginal painting or his putdown of Susan Rothenberg's later horses. Yet he is also a totally engaged art critic, as revealed by this awesomely alert batch of reviews, essays, articles, plus one interview and two funny poems (``I Missed Punk'' and a verse-monologue lament on being a critic). He champions Eric Fischl's moralistic psychodramas, Edvard Munch's art of ``emotional recognitions,'' Larry Rivers's reveling in chaos, Leon Golub's exposes of torturers and mercenaries. Anselm Kiefer, known for canvases laden with references to Nazism, is put in perspective here as a mostly self-referential, ahistorical painter. Ranging from Manet to minimalism, these partisan, passionate writings, edited by art appraiser Wilson, function as a savvy handbook on the current art scene. (Nov.)
Library JournalFor those who may be baffled by the contemporary art scene, most art criticism only serves to further confuse. Opening this book, however, is a refreshingly frank and entertaining venture. Both a poet and a critic, Schjeldahl weaves together theory, cultural context, and artistic technique. He draws one in with a simple opening line like ``Jeff Koons makes me sick,'' then follows with an essay of surprising perception. He writes of Rothko, Warhol, de Kooning, Sherman, and Nauman, yet he doesn't ignore the animators at Disney, who are part of the art scene. The author is an art critic for The Village Voice and contributing editor for Art in America . Along with Robert Hughes's The Shock of the New ( LJ 9/1/90), this book belongs on most library shelves.-- Daniel J. Lombardo, Jones Lib., Amherst, Mass.
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