Art in America, 1945-1970 Writings from the age of abstract expressionism, pop art and minimalism

Book - 2014

An invigorating panorama of art writing from a crucial quarter century, adding vital context with incisive commentaries.

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Series
Library of America ; 259.
Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Library of America ; Distributed to the trade in the United States by Penguin Random House Inc [2014]
New York : Library of America [2014]
©2014
Language
English
Physical Description
xxvii, 867 pages, [32] unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits ; 21 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 833-848) and index.
ISBN
159853310X
9781598533101
  • My painting / Jackson Pollock
  • The romantics were prompted ; Two statements from The tiger's eye / Mark Rothko
  • The first man was an artist ; The sublime is now ; Ohio, 1949 / Barnett Newman
  • Art of this century / Peggy Guggenheim
  • (from) The amazing and invariable Beauford Delaney / Henry Miller
  • Introduction to Helen Levitt's A way of seeing / James Agee
  • Journals, 1948-50 / Charles Burchfield
  • Mondrian, kleenex, and you / Robert M. Coates
  • The Renaissance and order ; What abstract art means to me / Willem de Kooning
  • The thirties ; Willem de Kooning ; Katz: collage, cutout, cut-up ; The silence at night ; "At first sight, not Pollock, Kline scared" ; "Alex Katz paints his north window" / Edwin Denby
  • Jackson Pollock: the infinite labyrinth / Parker Tyler
  • Elie Nadelman: sculptor of the dance / Lincoln Kirstein
  • An appreciation / Tennessee Williams
  • (from) Evil under the sun / Anton Myrer
  • (from) The search for the real in the visual arts / Hans Hofmann
  • Review of an exhibition of Willem de Kooning ; The role of nature in modern painting ; "American-type" painting ; Modernist painting / Clement Greenberg
  • Statement ; An open letter to an art critic / Clyfford Still
  • An alphabetical guide to modern art ; Alphabetical guide no.2 ; Acrostic for Jackson Pollock / Dwight Ripley
  • Black or white ; What abstract art means to me / Robert Motherwell
  • Robert Motherwell ; Adolph Gottlieb / Weldon Kees
  • Reminiscence and reverie / Mark Tobey
  • The visionary painting of Morris Graves / Kenneth Rexroth
  • Painting in the American grain / William Carlos Williams
  • Robert Andrew Parker / Marianne Moore
  • (from) Action on West Fifty-Third Street / Dwight Macdonald
  • The American action painters ; Parable of American painting ; Evidences ; Mobile, theatrical, active
  • An academy of risk / Mary McCarthy
  • A cahier leaf ; Statement ; Four excerpts from a journal / Jack Tworkov
  • Joan Mitchell / Irving Sandler
  • (from) An emotional memoir of Franz Kline / Fielding Dawson
  • (from) The recognitions / William Gaddis
  • Introduction to Robert Frank's The Americans / Jack Kerouac
  • On Richard Avedon / Truman Capote
  • Statement / Aaron Siskind
  • Against abstract expressionism / Randall Jarrell
  • Excerpts from an unfinished manuscript titled "Art" / John Graham
  • Toward meta-form / Alfred Russell
  • From the diaries / Joseph Cornell
  • What abstract art means to me / Alexander Calder
  • (from) The shape of content / Ben Shahn
  • (from) A sculptor's world / Isamu Noguchi
  • Tapestry / Anni Albers
  • The landscape ; The question-what is your hope ; The question-what are your influences-"there is something rather noble about junk" ; Dream / David Smith
  • Four soldiers; a sculpture in iron by David Smith / Howard Nemerov
  • An artist's words ; On the creative process ; Form / Louise Bourgeois
  • Piero della Francesca: the impossiblity of painting faith, hope and Impossibility / Philip Guston
  • Philip Guston: the last painter ; Give my regards to Eighth Street / Morton Feldman
  • Abstract art refuses ; Art-as-art / Ad Reinhardt
  • Harry Callahan: a note ; John Chamberlain ; On the road: notes on artists and poets 1950-1965 / Robert Creeley
  • Pure paints a picture : Painting a portrait of the President / Elaine de Kooning
  • The liberating quality of avant-garde art ; On the humanity of abstract painting / Meyer Schapiro
  • The creative act ; Apropos of "Readymades" / Marcel Duchanp
  • Statement ; From the journals, 1952 / Grace Hartigan
  • Why I am not a painter ; David Smith: the color of steel ; Art chronicle I ; Larry Rivers: a memoir / Frank O'Hara
  • Life among the stones / Larry Rivers
  • Statement on Poetics ; The painting of Jane Freilicher ; Short reviews from Art News / James Schuyler
  • (from) Beyond the machine / Calvin Tomkins
  • At the museum of modern art / May Swenson
  • The legacy of Jackson Pollock / Allan Kaprow
  • Happenings: an art of radical juxtaposition / Susan Sontag
  • On the painter Beauford Delaney / James Baldwin
  • Bruce Conner: a new sensibility ; Joan Brown / Philip Ledider
  • A visit with Sam Rodia / Kate Steinitz
  • Letter to Jerry Reilly / Jess
  • (from) Iconographical extensions / Robert Duncan
  • Three letters / H. C. Westermann
  • The abstract sublime / Robert Rosenblum
  • Month in review, January 1962 ; Franz Kline (1910-1962) ; Philip Pearlstein and the new philistinism / Sidney Tillim
  • Jasper Johns: stories and ideas / John Cage
  • Statement ; Sketchbook notes / Jasper Johns
  • Statement / Robert Rauschenberg
  • Contemporary art and the plight of its public / Leo Steinberg
  • What is pop art? ; (from) The philosophy of Andy Warhol / Andy Warhol
  • (from) Stor days / Claes Oldenburg
  • The new American "Sign Painters" / Gene R. Swenson
  • Junkdump fair surveyed / John Bernard Myers
  • The paintings of E. E. Cummings ; Richard Stankiewicz ; John Graham ; Against idealism ; Joseph Cornell ; A painter obsessed by blue / Fairfield Porter
  • Edward Hopper: an American vision / Hilton Kramer
  • The art of Romare Bearden / Ralph Ellison
  • Painting as painting / Louis Finkelstein
  • The battle of Paris, strip-tease and Trotsky: some non-scenic travel notes / Thomas B. Hess
  • ABC art / Barbara Rose
  • Local history ; Specific objects / Donald Judd
  • Allusion and illusion in Donald Judd / Rosalind Krauss
  • The crystal land / Robert Smithson
  • New York letter: Warhol ; Art and objecthood / Michael Fried
  • Andy Warhol in Paris ; Joan Mitchell ; Leland Bell ; The invisible avant-garde / John Ashbery.
Review by Choice Reviews

Editor Perl assembles a rich collection of primary sources documenting the avant-garde movements of post-WW II American art.  This era, when New York, succeeding Paris, became the center of the art world, also saw the advent of American art criticism.  The entries in this volume include writings by many important critics as well as the gallery owners, poets, and artists at the center of the movements.  This volume, an important history of 20th-century art, also functions as a reference work for students and scholars interested in particular figures significant to this period, such as Peggy Guggenheim, Jackson Pollock, Allan Kaprow, Louise Bourgeois, Michael Fried, and many more.  The entries are arranged in chronological order, which allows readers to approach each source as it initially (historically) appeared.  Perl also provides a brief biographical summary to introduce each contributor's essay.  The extensive and comprehensive index also allows entry into the volume via names, works of art, art movements, galleries, exhibitions, and important historical publications.  Perl's introductory historiographical essay skillfully situates the subsequent sources within the history of art. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. --K. M. Keogh, Indiana University Libraries Kristina Maria Keogh Indiana University Libraries http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/CHOICE.187301 Copyright 2014 American Library Association.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Experience the creative explosion that transformed American art—in the words of the artists, writers, and critics who were there In the quarter century after the end of World War II, a new generation of painters, sculptors, and photographers transformed the face of American art and shifted the center of the art world from Paris to New York. Signaled by the triumph of abstraction and the ascendancy of painters such as Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, and Kline, this revolution generated an exuberant and contentious body of writing without parallel in our cultural history. In the words of editor, art critic, and historian Jed Perl, “there has never been a period when the visual arts have been written about with more mongrel energy—with more unexpected mixtures of reportage, rhapsody, analysis, advocacy, editorializing, and philosophy.” In this Library of America volume, Perl gathers for the first time the most vibrant contemporary accounts of this momentous period—by artists, critics, poets, gallery owners, and other observers—conveying the sweep and energy of a cultural scene dominated (in the poet James Schuyler’s words) by “the floods of paint in whose crashing surf we all scramble.” Here are statements by the most significant artists, and major critical essays by Clement Greenberg, Susan Sontag, Hilton Kramer, and other influential figures. Here too is an electrifying array of responses by poets and novelists, reflecting the free interplay between different art forms: John Ashbery on Andy Warhol; James Agee on Helen Levitt; James Baldwin on Beauford Delaney; Truman Capote on Richard Avedon; Tennessee Williams on Hans Hofmann; and Jack Kerouac on Robert Frank. The atmosphere of the time comes to vivid life in memoirs, diaries, and journalism by Peggy Guggenheim, Dwight Macdonald, Calvin Tomkins, and others. Lavishly illustrated with scores of black-and-white images and a 32-page color insert, this is a book that every art lover will treasure.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Experience the creative explosion that transformed American art, in the words of the artists, writers, and critics who were there: In the quarter century after the end of World War II, a new generation of painters, sculptors, and photographers transformed the face of American art and shifted the center of the art world from Paris to New York. Signaled by the triumph of abstraction and the ascendancy of painters such as Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, and Kline, this revolution generated an exuberant and contentious body of writing without parallel in our cultural history. In the words of editor Jed Perl, “there has never been a period when the visual arts have been written about with more mongrel energy—with more unexpected mixtures of reportage, rhapsody, analysis, advocacy, editorializing, and philosophy.” Perl has gathered the best of this writing together for the first time, interwoven with fascinating headnotes that establish the historical background, the outsized personalities of the artists and critics, and the nature of the aesthetic battles that defined the era. Here are statements by the most significant artists, and major critical essays by Clement Greenberg, Susan Sontag, Hilton Kramer, and other influential figures. Here too is an electrifying array of responses by poets and novelists, reflecting the free interplay between different art forms: John Ashbery on Andy Warhol, James Agee on Helen Levitt, James Baldwin on Beauford Delaney, Truman Capote on Richard Avedon, Tennessee Williams on Hans Hofmann, Jack Kerouac on Robert Frank. The atmosphere of the time comes to vivid life in memoirs, diaries, and journalism by Peggy Guggenheim, Dwight Macdonald, Calvin Tomkins, and others. Lavishly illustrated with scores of black-and-white images and a 32-page color insert, this is a book that every art lover will treasure.