Clement Greenberg Between the Lines: Including a Debate with by Thierry de Duve

By Thierry de Duve

Clement Greenberg (1909–1994), champion of summary expressionism and modernism—of Pollock, Miró, and Matisse—has been esteemed through many because the maximum paintings critic of the second one half the 20th century, and doubtless the best artwork critic of all time. This quantity, a full of life reassessment of Greenberg’s writings, positive aspects 3 methods to the fellow and his paintings: Greenberg as critic, doctrinaire, and theorist. The e-book additionally incorporates a transcription of a public debate with Greenberg that de Duve geared up on the collage of Ottawa in 1988. Clement Greenberg among the Lines can be an essential source for college kids, students, and fans of recent art.

“In this compelling examine, Thierry de Duve reads Greenberg opposed to the grain of the well-known critic’s critics—and occasionally opposed to the grain of the critic himself. through reinterpreting Greenberg’s interpretations of Pollock, Duchamp, and different canonical figures, de Duve establishes new theoretical coordinates wherein to appreciate the uneasy complexities and significance of Greenberg’s practice.”  John O’Brian, editor of Clement Greenberg: The amassed Essays and Criticisms

“De Duve is knowledgeable on theoretical aesthetics and therefore well matched to reconsider the formalist tenets of the past due American artwork critic's conception on artwork and tradition. . . . De Duve's shut readings of Greenberg . . . comprise a lot of curiosity, and the writer truly enjoys matching wits with ‘the world's most sensible identified paintings critic.’”   Library Journal

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I do not know of any other painting by an American that I could safely put next to this huge baroque scrawl in aluminum, black, white, madder, and blue. Beneath the apparent monotony of its surface composition it reveals a sumptuous variety of design and incident, and as a whole it is as well contained in its canvas as anything by a Quattrocento master. Pollock has had the tendency lately to exaggerate the verticality or horizontality, as the case might be, of his pictures, but this one avoids any connotation of a frieze or hanging scroll and presents an almost square surface that belongs very much to easel painting.

In the commodity, the concrete labor of another man is negated in its otherness, to be presented as a potential for abstract exchange among equivalent quantities of labor. An object is only ready to become kitsch if it is a commodity, and it becomes a commodity by entering (from its very conception) into the world of value, the economic world where exchange is 46 CLEMENT GREENBERG BETWEEN THE LINES not of the order of speech addressed to someone, but instead is an instrumental relation. One could say, paraphrasing Lévinas, that the commodity has no face.

When Rosenberg takes sides it is to champion De Kooning, giving up Pollock, so to speak, to his legendary rival Greenberg. 24 Clement Greenberg, “How Art Writing Earns its Bad Name,” Encounter 19, December 1962; Greenberg IV, pp. 135-144. 23 G w se se to o o to P E d M p A h w w h lo fi th 25 s s t e ” g a y: e f l : e n ” d w s n o d s h . o e e e ut ’t s es n s THE PATHS OF CRITICISM 31 Jackson Pollock’s most recent show, at Betty Parsons’s (till January 24), signals another step forward on his part.

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