Triumph of Modernism: The Art World, 1985-2005

Overview

Widely acknowledged as the most authoritative art critic of his generation, Hilton Kramer advanced his comments and judgments largely in the form of essays and short pieces. Thus this first collection of his work to appear in twenty years is a signal event for the art world and for criticism generally.

The Triumph of Modernism not only traces the vicissitudes of the art scene but diagnoses the state of modernism and its vital legacy in the postmodern world. Mr. Kramer bracingly ...

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Overview

Widely acknowledged as the most authoritative art critic of his generation, Hilton Kramer advanced his comments and judgments largely in the form of essays and short pieces. Thus this first collection of his work to appear in twenty years is a signal event for the art world and for criticism generally.

The Triumph of Modernism not only traces the vicissitudes of the art scene but diagnoses the state of modernism and its vital legacy in the postmodern world. Mr. Kramer bracingly updates his incisive critique of the artists, critics, institutions, and movements that have formed the basis for modern art. Appearing for the first time in greatly expanded form is his consideration of the foundations of modern abstract painting and the future of abstraction.

The aesthetic intelligence that Mr. Kramer brings to bear on certain tired assumptions about modernism—many of them derived from methodologies and politics that have little to do with art—helps rescue the artwork itself and its appreciation from the very institutions, such as the art museum and the academy, that purport to foster it.

Always clear-eyed and vastly illuminating, Hilton Kramer’s art criticism remains among the very finest written in the past hundred years. Readers of The Triumph of Modernism will be treated to an exhilarating experience.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Times
Delicious jeremiads attacking the meretricious, fad-obsessed art world of today….Mr. Kramer packs his reviews and essays with telling anecdotes.
— Stephen Goode
Booklist
Bracing art criticism.... In his enlightening, stimulating, and uncompromising essays, Kramer accords art the serious and critical attention it deserves.
— Donna Seaman
New York Review Of Books
An event: the first collection of Hilton Kramer's art criticism to appear in twenty years displays his great command of subject and historical undergirding. Here is an incisive critique of the artists, critics, institutions, and movements that have formed the basis for modern art.
American Conservative
Splendid collection... Kramer is luminously intelligent when he discusses the great modernists.
— Jeffrey Hart
New York Times Book Review
Arresting and perceptive judgments displaying Kramer's Modernist tastes.
Naea News
Kramer's book is erudite, principled, and well written...This book would be especially valuable for anyone conducting a course in either aesthetics or art criticism...it should be on the 'must read' list for every museum director.
— Marie L. Meegan
The New York Review Of Books
An event: The first collection of Hilton Kramer's art criticism to appear in twenty years displays his great command of subject and historical undergirding. Here is an incisive critique of the artists, critics, institutions, and movements that have formed the basis for modern art.
The American Conservative
Splendid collection... Kramer is luminously intelligent when he discusses the great modernists.
— Jeffrey Hart
The New York Times
Arresting and perceptive judgments displaying Kramer's Modernist tastes.
The Washington Times
Delicious jeremiads attacking the meretricious, fad-obsessed art world of today….Mr. Kramer packs his reviews and essays with telling anecdotes.
— Stephen Goode
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Bracing art criticism. . . . In his enlightening, stimulating, and uncompromising essays, Kramer accords art the serious and critical attention it deserves.
The Washington Times - Stephen Goode
Delicious jeremiads attacking the meretricious, fad-obsessed art world of today. . . . Mr. Kramer packs his reviews and essays with telling anecdotes.
The American Conservative - Jeffrey Hart
Splendid collection . . . Kramer is luminously intelligent when he discusses the great modernists.
Naea News - Marie L. Meegan
Kramer's book is erudite, principled, and well written. . . . This book would be especially valuable for anyone conducting a course in either aesthetics or art criticism . . . it should be on the 'must read' list for every museum director.
John Gross
Everything Hilton Kramer writes is marked by his bracing intelligence and penetrating judgment. No one could doubt his distinction as an art critic—but he raises broad social and cultural issues too, and fearlessly confronts.
Michael J. Lewis
A principled and discriminating champion of modern art. His hallmark as a critic is a scrupulous, often exquisite, concern for the aesthetic primacy of the object itself—that is, for the formal properties of a work of art—and secondarily for its place within the art of its time.
Times Literary Supplement (UK) - Kenneth Minogue
Consistently a pleasure to read . . . faithful to the tradition of high intellectuality which flourished in mid-century America.
Academic Questions
A vigorous intellect . . . broad taste and erudition.
First Things - Gregory Wolfe
Kramer has a gift for writing about the history of ideas . . . It is when he turns to matters of art and aesthetics that his strengths as a thinker come most fully into play. Though a host of his ideological enemies have branded him a ‘reactionary elitist’ for his belief in objective aesthetic standards, Kramer is no Philistine. After half a century, he retains a qualified but genuine love for the achievements of modernism in art.
Norman Podhoretz
More than any other critic of our time—more energetically, more relentlessly, more courageously—Hilton Kramer has stood out against the degradation of modernism in the arts and the symbiotic degradation of liberalism in politics and culture.
Boston Review - George Scialabba
As sharp as a wasp’s stinger.
Donna Seaman
Bracing art criticism.... In his enlightening, stimulating, and uncompromising essays, Kramer accords art the serious and critical attention it deserves.
Booklist
Jeffrey Hart
Splendid collection... Kramer is luminously intelligent when he discusses the great modernists.
American Conservative
Neiman Reports
Delicious jeremiads attacking the meretricious, fad-obsessed art world of today . . . .Mr. Kramer packs his reviews and essays with telling anecdotes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566637084
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 9/25/2006
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Hilton Kramer was co-editor and co-publisher of The New Criterion, which he founded in 1982. He had also been editor of Arts Magazine, art critic for The Nation, chief art critic for the New York Times, and art critic for the New York Observer. His other books include The Twilight of the Intellectuals, The Age of the Avant-Garde, and The Revenge of the Philistines. He died in 2012.
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