Art and Culture: Critical Essays
By Clement Greenberg (1961, 1989)
Part 1: Culture in General, Section 1: Avant-Guarde and Kitsch
Image: Clement Greenberg, 1909-1994
A book discussion on this blog is long overdue! So, let’s begin another. I’ve chosen Art and Culture: Critical Essays (1961, 1989) by Clement Greenberg, the distinguished American art critic.
In this book, the author addresses the following topics:
Culture in General
Art in Paris (various individual artists)
Art in General (primitive through modernist art)
Art in the United States (various individual artists and movements)
and, Literature (I probably won’t review this section)
A review by the Washington Post appears on the back of this book: “This book should be read by anyone who is interested in modern painting and is willing to look at its spectrum through the vision of a tough-minded, rightfully opinionated critic.”
Another review appears by 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 … Jackson Pollock’s triumphant international recognition is also a triumph of this critic’s courage, eloquence and creative sense of action .. . An important book for everyone interested in modern painting and sculpture.”
And, so we’ll begin with Part 1: Culture in General, Section 1: Avant-Guarde and Kitsch.
According to Greenberg, the avant-guarde and kitsch are both on the order of culture and products of society. But, are they related? And, from what perspective can we view culture to see that relationship? Perhaps, he postulates, the answer is found through the examination of the relationship between aesthetic experience of the individual and the social and historical contexts in which that experience takes place. And, that’s where the author leads us … in my next post.
Are you interested?