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"Clement Greenberg is, internationally, the best-known American art critic popularly considered to be the man who put American vanguard painting and sculpture on the world map. . . . An important book for everyone interested in modern painting and sculpture."—The New York Times "Clement Greenberg is, internationally, the best-known American art critic popularly considered to be the man who put American vanguard painting and sculpture on the world map. . . . An important book for everyone interested in modern painting and sculpture."—The New York Times


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"Clement Greenberg is, internationally, the best-known American art critic popularly considered to be the man who put American vanguard painting and sculpture on the world map. . . . An important book for everyone interested in modern painting and sculpture."—The New York Times "Clement Greenberg is, internationally, the best-known American art critic popularly considered to be the man who put American vanguard painting and sculpture on the world map. . . . An important book for everyone interested in modern painting and sculpture."—The New York Times

30 review for Art and Culture: Critical Essays

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darran Mclaughlin

    As far as art criticism goes this is the good stuff, but I have been gradually lowering my expectations of what art criticism can accomplish. Greenberg is the most well known and influential American art critic of the 20th century, as David Sylvester was in the UK. I enjoy reading both of them but I've gradually come to realise that I don't believve art criticism is capable of really illuminating art in the way that literary criticsm or music criticism can illuminate. Maybe the medium of words j As far as art criticism goes this is the good stuff, but I have been gradually lowering my expectations of what art criticism can accomplish. Greenberg is the most well known and influential American art critic of the 20th century, as David Sylvester was in the UK. I enjoy reading both of them but I've gradually come to realise that I don't believve art criticism is capable of really illuminating art in the way that literary criticsm or music criticism can illuminate. Maybe the medium of words just can't adequately engage with a visual medium.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Will

    "One cannot condemn tendencies in art; one can only condemn works of art. To be categorically against a current art tendency or style means, in effect, to pronounce on works of art not yet created and not yet seen. It means inquiring into the motives of artists instead of into results. Yet we all know—or are supposed to know—that results are all that count in art." "One cannot condemn tendencies in art; one can only condemn works of art. To be categorically against a current art tendency or style means, in effect, to pronounce on works of art not yet created and not yet seen. It means inquiring into the motives of artists instead of into results. Yet we all know—or are supposed to know—that results are all that count in art."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Valdimar

    adorno snob but without anything to back it up

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ningxia Zhang

    Learning how art critique has helped define chapters of art history, it's not just a by-product. It's always eye opening to see how a more discerning eye and a more informed mind see art. Learning how art critique has helped define chapters of art history, it's not just a by-product. It's always eye opening to see how a more discerning eye and a more informed mind see art.

  5. 5 out of 5

    吕不理

    某个层面我也赞同平面化是现代绘画之趋势。不过他很多个人趣味主导下的主观感受太咄咄逼人 当然这也是文艺批评里不可避免的。 沈老师的译后记写得挺好的 翻译则不然 这几乎与我一贯认为的“就翻译效果而言,背景知识比翻译技巧更重要”这一观点相悖。他还讲座大谈翻译……哎可以说是你国男性权威的迷之自信

  6. 4 out of 5

    Castles

    I don’t mind his snobbish tone so much, but while he does deal with timeless artists most of the time, I expected some more from this book other than its journalistic quality. I’ve come to this book to read Greenberg the theorist, but I’ve found only the critic, perhaps I should’ve found a different book. Almost every article of his, even when not related to cubism, mention some anecdotes about Picasso and Braque. Greenberg deals with cubism, abstract expressionism, Kandinsky and Matisse among t I don’t mind his snobbish tone so much, but while he does deal with timeless artists most of the time, I expected some more from this book other than its journalistic quality. I’ve come to this book to read Greenberg the theorist, but I’ve found only the critic, perhaps I should’ve found a different book. Almost every article of his, even when not related to cubism, mention some anecdotes about Picasso and Braque. Greenberg deals with cubism, abstract expressionism, Kandinsky and Matisse among the others, but strangely enough, for a critic so much invested in New York and its art, not a single word about Marcel Duchamp.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Clement Greenberg, This disgusting creature did more to ruin high art in the Atlanticist Bloc than anyone. Truly saddening... how influential this tiresome and soulless idiot's ideas became. Not very surprising considering the company he kept and the gullibility of his audience. Clement Greenberg, This disgusting creature did more to ruin high art in the Atlanticist Bloc than anyone. Truly saddening... how influential this tiresome and soulless idiot's ideas became. Not very surprising considering the company he kept and the gullibility of his audience.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Art and Culture: Critical Essays by Clement Greenberg These pieces collected in this book are essays on art and culture which appeared originally in Partisan Review, The Nation, Commentary and other publications. They express the author's views on avant-garde painting in general and such figures as Renoir, Cezanne, Braque, Kandinsky in particular. The last section of the book is devoted to comments on literature. These essays, while always intelligent and showing a deep concern for art and cultur Art and Culture: Critical Essays by Clement Greenberg These pieces collected in this book are essays on art and culture which appeared originally in Partisan Review, The Nation, Commentary and other publications. They express the author's views on avant-garde painting in general and such figures as Renoir, Cezanne, Braque, Kandinsky in particular. The last section of the book is devoted to comments on literature. These essays, while always intelligent and showing a deep concern for art and culture, are not always illuminating. It is hard to say what is right or what is wrong. It is perhaps that Greenberg is both didactic- and muzzy: i.e. "Jackson Pollock's problem has never been one of authenticity; rather it is to find the means to cope with the literalness of his emotion, which is of a kind that seems foreign at first to pictorial art. And though he may overpower his means at times, he rarely falsifies them." Some will be confused by this type of commentary; others, more used to the peculiar dialect of the avant-garde, may find it clarifying and communicative.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Noselli

    These essays take you back to when American art was just getting on its feet in the early days of the post-war era. Greenberg compares the New York school of abstract expressionists, led by Pollock and de Kooning, but also including Still, Rothko, Motherwell, Franz Klein and Hans Hofman, to the French Fauve movement at the turn of the century. It's a shame that Jackson Pollock died in a car crash; it appears that Greenberg saw him as someone who was truly a unique artist. I was shocked by the sy These essays take you back to when American art was just getting on its feet in the early days of the post-war era. Greenberg compares the New York school of abstract expressionists, led by Pollock and de Kooning, but also including Still, Rothko, Motherwell, Franz Klein and Hans Hofman, to the French Fauve movement at the turn of the century. It's a shame that Jackson Pollock died in a car crash; it appears that Greenberg saw him as someone who was truly a unique artist. I was shocked by the synchronicity I hadn't counted on which came up in the last essay, a critical appraisal of the poetic Jewishness of Franz Kafka's prose, I felt I was visited by an old friend, as I had just read an in-depth portrait of Kafka is Adorno's Prisms.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Perrystroika

    Greenberg is historically important. His polemics on painting are part of the history of Abstract Expressionism. I read this years ago, and frankly none of it really struck me. I think Harold Rosenberg is a better stylist. His quasi-Hegelian teleological argument about the dialectic of representation in Western art is somewhat unfashionable nowadays. I am sympathetic to it, but it hasn't aged particularly well. People who claim to be at the end of history tend to look silly over time, because his Greenberg is historically important. His polemics on painting are part of the history of Abstract Expressionism. I read this years ago, and frankly none of it really struck me. I think Harold Rosenberg is a better stylist. His quasi-Hegelian teleological argument about the dialectic of representation in Western art is somewhat unfashionable nowadays. I am sympathetic to it, but it hasn't aged particularly well. People who claim to be at the end of history tend to look silly over time, because history goes on and stuff keeps on happening. Since Greenberg's heyday we've seen Pop art, postmodernism, feminism. It's a different world now and I'm not quite sure what's Greenberg's place in it is.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laboratory Books

    Well, we're not sure we'd give it five stars if we reread it now, but formalist criticism was a great comfort to us as we emerged from the late romanticism / weak postmodernism of our protracted adolescence. Well, we're not sure we'd give it five stars if we reread it now, but formalist criticism was a great comfort to us as we emerged from the late romanticism / weak postmodernism of our protracted adolescence.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Qian

    只读了其中三篇。先锋派与媚俗,走向更新的拉奥孔,american-type painting,基本是最重要的三篇了。 格林伯格写的非常好,可是语意很绕,涉及的艺术家也非常多,如果不是课程作业逼迫我应该没有毅力仔细阅读吧。特此标记。

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elvis Cosovic

    More substantial than his 'Homemade Esthetics', but I would still recommend starting with it for a broader understanding of Clement's assessments towards art criticism (even if it can be sometimes shallow). So, the best thing about the essays are the more indepth/historical explorations of essays like "Collage" which gives a wealth of knowledge to its readers; but, those more "broad" essays, can have a lot of questionable stuff in it as well, like in "Avant-Garde and Kitsch". In it, Clement post More substantial than his 'Homemade Esthetics', but I would still recommend starting with it for a broader understanding of Clement's assessments towards art criticism (even if it can be sometimes shallow). So, the best thing about the essays are the more indepth/historical explorations of essays like "Collage" which gives a wealth of knowledge to its readers; but, those more "broad" essays, can have a lot of questionable stuff in it as well, like in "Avant-Garde and Kitsch". In it, Clement postulates that bad art/kitsch has the intention of being sellable and predigested (beside other points). First, there is nothing bad about an artist doing works for pay, he even mentions Hokusai in that essays who was an illustrator who worked in the low-art of ukiyo-e (instead of the high art of painting on scrolls and doors), and yet he was great. Rembrandt, Goltzius, Goya, Dürer, and many more, all worked in the 'low art' of printmaking, which was possible because of the inovantions in printing quality. As for predigested art, he mentions Repin in opposition to Picasso, but he doesn't mention what it really means to be 'predigested' in the first place. Is it a naturalistic portayal of the world? Is it the more direct portrayal of emotion? Is it the handling of the paint? I point to you Repin's "Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan" and Rembrandt's "The Return of the Prodigal Son"; one can derive similarities in both, while also differences will be observed. Are the similarities worse in one? Are the dissimilarities better in the other? Even if we were to come to definitive answer, is the other even bad in the first place? Another point I have to bring up is the histrical aspect of Clement's writing, the emphasis on inovation in terms of flatness and many other devices. The importance of flatness (the frame and so on) is justly observed by Clement, but where my disagreements stem is his comment on how illustration has no future in the old ways and that the figurative art of the old masters is spent (a general point that is shared in other books of essays). So why is that so? He points to the unique properties of 'flatness' and other 'purifications' of the medium and how, due to these inovations, there is no going back (a paralel that seems to correlate with society and the inovations of the industrial revolution), but I think this is wrong. Conservative values can be correct as much as left-leaning views, but that is a seldom fact that is acknowledge. The overdone propeties of the old masters (like perspective, shading, etc.) are apt because they have a more than life-like appearance: a Millet is appreacited not because of it being the same as reality, but because an essence of life is conveyed in the bordered page of a canvas. Abstract art is also a distillation/purification of elements found in the world, but just as we don't have to purify a novel into a poem to aknowledge the merits of both, so we don't have to with the two above. As for the other essays, they are mostly short explorations of artists with some historical information sprinkled in, comparisons being made between artists, and some "vague" assessments of quality. I mention the vague part because one has to be familiar with a substantial part of a mentioned artist's canon to even remotly get at some of Clement's comments, much less assess their qualitative merits. So for now, I'll leave it at that.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Benshana

    I have read the first essay so far. Whilst I can see immediately he was part of the intellectual revolution that the ideologies of Communism and Fascism warred over in Europe, he was very perceptive about kitsch. I don't think he would get away today with saying that the levels of art in a culture are divided between the bourgeois and the proletariat but he makes some insightful comments about imitation and the abstract. Definitely worth reading if you are into art history or interested in art. I have read the first essay so far. Whilst I can see immediately he was part of the intellectual revolution that the ideologies of Communism and Fascism warred over in Europe, he was very perceptive about kitsch. I don't think he would get away today with saying that the levels of art in a culture are divided between the bourgeois and the proletariat but he makes some insightful comments about imitation and the abstract. Definitely worth reading if you are into art history or interested in art.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Williamson

    Hear the dinosaur of Modernism 'roar'. Completely disagree with him, but ya gotta love him. Excellent critic, not so good theorist, puts Robert Hughes (who although slightly behind the times [by about 20 years], is not so bad at times {although when he is wrong he is so wrong, like you wanna punch his face in} either) to total shame. When Greenberg dismisses work close to your heart, you can't help but admire his panache. Hear the dinosaur of Modernism 'roar'. Completely disagree with him, but ya gotta love him. Excellent critic, not so good theorist, puts Robert Hughes (who although slightly behind the times [by about 20 years], is not so bad at times {although when he is wrong he is so wrong, like you wanna punch his face in} either) to total shame. When Greenberg dismisses work close to your heart, you can't help but admire his panache.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian Kubarycz

    a book which, for all its weaknesses, still has much to offer. worth the effort to actually read it before offhandedly dismissing it. in particular, the early essay on culture in general show us a much different greenberg than the one we've been taught to dismiss as unhistorical and apolitical. a book which, for all its weaknesses, still has much to offer. worth the effort to actually read it before offhandedly dismissing it. in particular, the early essay on culture in general show us a much different greenberg than the one we've been taught to dismiss as unhistorical and apolitical.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This book is a collection of essays written by the critic Clement Greenberg, best known for his writing during the 1950s when abstract expressionism was just taking root. At times slow, this is still an essential read for anyone interested in modern art.

  18. 5 out of 5

    AC

    I only read his paper on Kitsch -- and found it very interesting -- and my rating is based only on that. Avant-Garde and Kitsch: http://www.sharecom.ca/greenberg/kits... http://www.sharecom.ca/greenberg/defa... I only read his paper on Kitsch -- and found it very interesting -- and my rating is based only on that. Avant-Garde and Kitsch: http://www.sharecom.ca/greenberg/kits... http://www.sharecom.ca/greenberg/defa...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This particular collection of his essays, are essential to the understanding of contemporary art theory.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josh Rogers

    You know a person's ideas are strong when they are being so passionately debated 50 years later. Clem was brilliant. He invented a new language to discuss art. Not just the visual arts as well. You know a person's ideas are strong when they are being so passionately debated 50 years later. Clem was brilliant. He invented a new language to discuss art. Not just the visual arts as well.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Neil Fitzgerald

    My bible.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gedmundson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pankaj Sharma

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jules

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karolina

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Pierre Porte

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elza

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mikael

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