Most Famous Essays

There has never been a time when art critics held more power than during the second half of the twentieth century.

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For one, Greenberg mostly ignored the Biblical titles of Newman’s paintings.)Greenberg’s formalist theories were immensely influential over the subsequent decades.

in particular grew into a locus for formalist discourse, which had the early effect of providing an aesthetic toolkit divorced from politic.

Works of this sort lack the dialectical tension of a genuine act, associated with risk and will.

When a tube of paint is squeezed by the Absolute, the result can only be a Success.

Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were two of the landmarks of this view.

Pollock, who exhibited his drip paintings in 1951, freeing the line from figuration, was for Greenberg the pinnacle of American Modernism, the most important artist since Picasso.

For Malevich, the poetic Slav, this realization forced a turning inward toward an inspirational mysticism, whereas for Duchamp, the rational Frenchman, it meant a fatigue so enervating that finally the wish to paint at all was killed.

Both the yearnings of Malevich’s Slavic soul and the deductions of Duchamp’s rationalist mind led both men ultimately to reject and exclude from their work many of the most cherished premises of Western art in favor of an art stripped to its bare, irreducible minimum.

By 1965, however, Rose recognized a limitation of the theory as outlined by Greenberg—that it was reductionist and only capable of account for a certain where Rose was a contributing editor, Rose opens up formalism to encompass sculpture, which Greenberg was largely unable to account for.

The simple idea that art moves toward flatness and abstraction leads, for Rose, into Minimalism, and “ABC Art” is often considered the first landmark essay on Minimalist art.


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