By Tom Wolfe
"America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek) trains his satirical eye on glossy artwork during this "masterpiece" (The Washington Post)
Wolfe's variety hasn't ever been extra amazing, his wit by no means extra willing. He addresses the scope of recent artwork, from its founding days as summary Expressionism via its changes to Pop, Op, minimum, and Conceptual. The Painted be aware is Tom Wolfe "at his so much shrewdpermanent, a laugh, and irreverent" (San Francisco Chronicle).
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Extra info for The Painted Word
Kline), "Whaddaya say, Marko! " (Rothko). however the outdated boys did not precisely consider like being friends and sharing the glow with those hideously chummy younger nobodies. alright ... So Johns and Rauschenberg begun zapping the previous bastards of their weakest spot: their dreadful solemnity and excessive Seriousness. The 10th highway cenacle des cenacles used to be filled with artists who have been so non secular that they by no means even bought so far as Pollock had in double-tracking out of the Boho Dance and into the Consummation. They remained psychologically (and, by way of and by means of, resentfully) trapped in bohemia. Rothko refused to take part in a Whitney Museum annual exhibit that allows you to defend "the lifestyles my images will lead within the world," and refused (or claimed Hello, Steinberg sixty three to refuse) to set foot in any Uptown artwork gallery except a few pal of his was once having a gap. So Rauschenberg took to giving interviews within the artwork magazines within which he acknowledged that being an artist was once no assorted, spiritually, from being a shipment hum in keeping with or a dossier clerk or anything. He exhibited oeuvres equivalent to 3 Coca-Cola bottles, the particular bottles, surmounted by means of a couple of eagle wings. yet all that was once too effortless to jot down off as mere Dada. Johns's 1958 exhibit was once whatever else back. It wasn't a rough gesture; it was once effective cool ... and anything an bold younger critic may fly with. So Leo Steinberg, besides William Rubin, one other theorist (and collector), depicted Johns's paintings as a more moderen, better synthesis. The imperative arguing element? yet of course-our outdated buddy Flatness. the hot conception went as follows. Johns had selected genuine topics similar to flags and numbers and letters and goals that have been flat through their very nature. They have been born to be flat, you may say. Thereby Johns used to be reaching an grand factor. He was once bringing actual matters into sleek portray yet in a manner that neither violated the legislations of Flatness nor brought "literary" content material. to the contrary: he was once changing items of daily communication-flags and numbers-into artwork gadgets ... and thereby de-literalizing them! have been they content material or have been they shape? They have been neither! They have been the next synthesis. "An impressive result," acknowledged Steinberg. Then Steinberg spotted anything else. Johns had lined his flat indicators in brief, uneven Cezanne-like brushstrokes. by some means this made them glance flatter than ever ... in truth, his flatness uncovered as soon as and for 64 The Painted observe assortment Mrs. Leo Castelli. Courtesy Leo Castelli Gallery Jasper Johns's Flag, 1958 . Born to be flat all of the pseudo-flatness of summary Expressionists like de Kooning and Pollock. The jig used to be up! Steinberg was once now able to provide the coup de grace to Clement Greenberg. Greenberg had continually argued that the outdated Masters, the vintage 3D realists, had created "an phantasm of area into which you will think oneself walking," whereas-to the eternal glory of Modernism-you could not stroll right into a Modernist portray and least of all into an summary Expressionist portray. (Too sincere, too flat for such a ersatz event.