By Thierry de Duve

Clement Greenberg (1909–1994), champion of summary expressionism and modernism—of Pollock, Miró, and Matisse—has been esteemed via many because the maximum artwork critic of the second one 1/2 the 20th century, and probably the best paintings critic of all time. This quantity, a full of life reassessment of Greenberg’s writings, beneficial properties 3 ways to the guy and his paintings: Greenberg as critic, doctrinaire, and theorist. The booklet additionally encompasses a transcription of a public debate with Greenberg that de Duve geared up on the college of Ottawa in 1988. Clement Greenberg among the Lines can be an quintessential source for college kids, students, and fanatics of contemporary art.

“In this compelling examine, Thierry de Duve reads Greenberg opposed to the grain of the recognized critic’s critics—and occasionally opposed to the grain of the critic himself. by means of reinterpreting Greenberg’s interpretations of Pollock, Duchamp, and different canonical figures, de Duve establishes new theoretical coordinates during which to appreciate the uneasy complexities and value of Greenberg’s practice.”  John O’Brian, editor of Clement Greenberg: The gathered Essays and Criticisms

“De Duve is a professional on theoretical aesthetics and hence well matched to re-examine the formalist tenets of the overdue American paintings critic's concept on artwork and tradition. . . . De Duve's shut readings of Greenberg . . . comprise a lot of curiosity, and the writer sincerely enjoys matching wits with ‘the world's most sensible recognized paintings critic.’”   Library Journal

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Clark, “Clement Greenberg’s Theory of Art,” see note 25 for the reference. 17 T e k, d e g s n o e r y, e n d a m — al y at g SILENCES IN THE DOCTRINE 49 rereading him, by confronting what he says with my own experience as an art lover and critic, by weighing the arguments levelled against his doctrine and finding them insufficient—that he was essentially right, I would not feel authorized to write between the lines of his text what I believe I can read there, which comes down in the end to something quite simple: for an avantgarde artist (as he said at the time), or for a modernist artist (as he said later on), the other is the medium.

10 AGK, p. 28. 9 n G o m d g K s t t c c i t t h h r a o k c t w w t M p t w d G m o t lf o of st ks s e ot d y, al y s s n s d st as y of — d of y, y h d n d g SILENCES IN THE DOCTRINE 43 neo-liberalism. I stress the point because now that the reappraisal of Greenberg has begun, the most problematic aspect of his work remains the opposition between avant-garde and kitsch. No rereading of Greenbergian modernism stands a chance of contributing fruitfully to future debates if it does not first deal with this fundamental opposition.

Self-evident implication? Tacit accord with a reader whom he supposes equally aware that an artwork is a crystallization of human experience, as much as it is a physical object? Personal difficulties in speaking of content in art and of the human relations that permeate it? Problematic relation to identity and otherness? No doubt there is a little of all that in Greenberg. In any case, I believe this silence concerning the relation to the other is what makes people wrongly think that the search for the identity of the medium cleanses it of any alterity.

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