Abstract Expressionism: Creators and Critics: An Anthology

Clifford Ross, Editor ABRAMS $49.5 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8109-1908-2
Ross ( Phantasmagorey: The Work of Edward Gorey ) here compiles statements, interviews, essays and letters written by abstract expressionists and their critics between 1940 and the early 1970s. Barnett Newman vehemently defends his opinions of aesthetics and politics, Ad Reinhardt jots down lists of contradictory symbols and ideas to help him think through his work, sculptor David Smith discusses and analyzes his working habits in a straightforward and conversational tone. Each chapter is devoted to a particular artist and includes black-and-white photos of him and his work--only men are included here. Critical viewpoints are offered via essays by Clement Greenberg and Randall Jarell and mixed reviews of the Manhattan Museum of Modern Art exhibition ``The New American Painting'' that traveled throughout Europe during 1958-1959 and featured paintings by 17 prominent artists. The book's small, easily digestible doses of rhetoric successfully define the abstract expressionist ideology according to personalities who are by turns eloquent, pompous and blunt. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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