Bah! I am grinding my way (trying to anyway) through a volume of
Clement Greenberg’s essays. In case you haven’t heard of him, Greenberg was once considered the preeminent writer on post-war American art.
Greenberg’s writings are filled with hilarious pronouncements hurled from the Marxist Olympian heights. As a champion of the Abstract Expressionists, he pronounced anathema on figurative art and cast it to the outer darkness of kitsch. He was a favorite target of the Pop artists’ mockery.
His writings are thin gruel. He was a decent stylist but so far none of his essays are interesting. Thin gruel, like I said. But, sad to say, his work rises above most of what passes for art journalism today, which is marketing and celebrity worship.
Here is a quick oil sketch I did today. The subject is the same one in the larger painting behind it. I spent all day working over small details in the big painting and wanted to cut loose.