No question about it, Tom Wolfe is speaking for the yahoos in this little essay—it appeared in its entirety in Harper's Magazine, and though the Art World will no doubt assiduously ignore Wolfe's Bronx cheers, a lot of ordinary philistines will say "Right on! But the theories, I insist were beautiful. But Greenberg most of all, since it was he who supplied The Word without which Abstract Expressionism the dominant postwar style is incomprehensible. The essential principal which has informed contemporary art, says Wolfe, is flatness.
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Wow, I think I now want to read this existential book! Love and am frightened by the idea that "the artist" and the naming of such a creature such as "the receiver" may or may not exist. Thank you for introducing us to this analysis!
Post a Comment. The Connoisseur, Norman Rockwell, "If you have ever stared uncomprehendingly at an abstract painting that admired critics have said you ought to dig, take heart. Tom Wolfe It may confirm your darkest suspicions about Modern Art. In any case, it will amuse you. No one in the art world I read it four times, each of them with mounting envy for Wolfe's eye, ear, and surgical skill. Published in , it was written just a year after I graduated in Fine Arts.
Forty-two years ago. Wolfe begins by explaining how the art of the early 's was a reaction to "literary art". Think of the iconic paintings of the 19th century, for example, so many of which allow the viewer to read them as a story. With the beginning of the Modern movement, around , Wolfe explains, " Literary became a code word for all that seemed hopelessly retrograde about realistic art The idea was that half the power of a realistic painting comes not from the artist but from the sentiments the viewer hauls along to it, like so much mental baggage.
In the book's epilogue, Wolfe discusses the return to realism, including Photo-Realism, which became a hot seller in the 70's as a reaction to all that had preceded it. The art-buying class must have its meat. Photo-Realism gives me vertigo. Colour and form do it for me. Give me a brushy Rothko or the push-and-pull of a Hans Hofmann any day. Labels: books , reflections. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. The Hay Wain , Constable, Romanticism.
Luncheon of the Boating Party, Renoir, Impressionism.
THE PAINTED WORD
Tom Wolfe, the prolific journalist and novelist who helped foment the New Journalism movement, died last month at He tells the familiar story that earned him his reputation and made him big at the media box office: the tale of the aspiring haute bourgeoisie. But Wolfe has not written about the problems in the art world or the crisis in current criticism. He has not written about modern art at all. Instead, he has written a polemic against it, and throughout the essay he makes his dislike of abstract art perfectly clear. It is a small, insular place in which bohemia the artists and le monde collectors and trustees share a mutual goal—to be different, to separate themselves from the bourgeoisie.
From the Archives: Tom Wolfe’s ‘The Painted Word’ Gets Panned, in 1975
BmoreArt is a creative and critical daily online journal. Rather than being dour or bitchy, Wolfe is hilarious and chatty, pitching insightful zinger after zinger into a casual conversational tone. This books is incredibly easy to read and, at under pages, is done in an hour or so. To be taken seriously contemporary art must reject and challenge the values of society but also surrender to it, without seeming to. This is funny because it is true.
The Painted Word
The Painted Word is a book of art criticism by Tom Wolfe. By the s Wolfe was, according to Douglas Davis of Newsweek magazine "more of a celebrity than the celebrities he describes. In the midst of working on stories about the space program for Rolling Stone —stories that would eventually grow into the book The Right Stuff —Wolfe became interested in writing a book about modern art. As a journalist, Wolfe had devoted much of his writing career to pursuing realism ; Wolfe read in Hilton Kramer 's Times review of Seven Realists, that "to lack a persuasive theory is to lack something crucial". Wolfe summarized the review saying that it meant "without a theory to go with it, I can't see a painting".
Wow, I think I now want to read this existential book! Love and am frightened by the idea that "the artist" and the naming of such a creature such as "the receiver" may or may not exist. Thank you for introducing us to this analysis! Post a Comment. The Connoisseur, Norman Rockwell, "If you have ever stared uncomprehendingly at an abstract painting that admired critics have said you ought to dig, take heart. Tom Wolfe