The Painted Word
"America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek) trains his satirical eye on Modern Art in this "masterpiece" (The Washington Post)
Wolfe's style has never been more dazzling, his wit never more keen. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. The Painted Word is Tom Wolfe "at his most clever, amusing, and irreverent" (San Francisco Chronicle).
Braque, Houses at I'Estaque ( 1908) . But not really houses, said Braque ; rather, a certain arrangement of colors and forms on a canvas . ("little cubes," said Matisse to the critic Louis Vauxcelles, who called Braque's new style "Cubism," thinking it a prize put-down .) The Theory starts here The Painted Word T not to reconstitute an anecdotal fact but to constitute a pictorial fact." Today this notion, this protest-which it was when Braque said it-has become a piece of orthodoxy. Artists.
That Airstream Silver Bullet trailer in the middle. And so on, through the checklist of Late Modernism. The Photo-Realists are backsliders, yes; but not true heretics. In all of Cultureburg, in fact, there are still no heretics of any importance, no one attacking Late Modernism in its very foundation-not even at this late hour when Modern Art has reached the vanishing point and our old standby, Hilton Kramer, lets slip the admission: Frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can't.
... looking, of course, for the inevitable Loft ... No, somehow the artist wanted to remain within walking distance ... He took up quarters just around the corner from ... le monde, the social sphere described so well by Balzac, the milieu of those who find it important to be in fashion, the orbit of those aristocrats, wealthy bourgeois, publishers, writers, journalists, impresarios, performers, who wish to be "where J2 The Painted Word Copyright Ronald Searle, 1961 Ronald Searle, La Vie de.
Each new movement, each new ism in Modern Art was a declaration by the artists that they had a new way of seeing which the rest of the world (read: the bourgeoisie) couldn't comprehend. "We understand!" said the culturati, thereby separating themselves also from the herd. But what inna namea Christ were the artists seeing? This was where theory came in. A hundred years before, Art Theory had merely been something that enriched one's conversation in matters of Culture. Now it was an absolute.
Purity-a style in which lines, forms, contours, colors all became unified on the flat surface. This business of flatness became quite an issue; an © 1973 Arnold Newman Clement Greenberg Greenberg, Rosenberg & Flat 41 obsession, one might say. The question of what an artist could or could not do without violating the principle of Flatness-"the integrity of the picture plane," as it became known-inspired such subtle distinctions, such exquisitely miniaturized hypotheses, such stereotactic.