Homemade Esthetics

Homemade Esthetics : Observations on Art and Taste

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A giant of 20th century art criticism, Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) set the terms of critical discourse from the moment he burst onto the scene with his seminal essays "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" (1939) and "Towards a Newer Laocoon" (1940). In this work, which gathers previously uncollected essays and a series of seminars delivered at Bennington College in 1971, Greenberg provides his most expansive statement of his views on taste and quality in art. He insists that despite the attempts of modern artists to escape the jurisdiction of taste by producing an art so disjunctive that it cannot be judged, taste is inexorable. He maintains that standards of quality in art, ohe artist's responsibility to seek out the hardest demands of a medium, and the critic's responsibility to discriminate, are essential conditions for great art. He discusses the interplay of expectation and surprise in aesthetic experience, and the exalted consciousness produced by great art. Homemade Esthetics allows us to watch the critic's mind at work, defending (and at times reconsidering) his controversial and influential theories. Charles Harrison's introduction to this volume places Homemade Esthetics in the context of Greenberg's work and the evolution of 20th century criticism.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0195139232
  • 9780195139235
  • 1,181,804

Review quote

"Greenberg will be remembered...for having produced a body of writing about art that is fully worthy of comparison with the best work of the best critics of the twentieth century. Even now it is impossible to read him without being stirred by his aesthetic convictions."--Terry Teachout, National Review Greenberg's Seminars, collected here for the first time, are the summation of his remarkable career as a critic and theorist.... Going through this book I was reminded yet again what a compelling writer Greenberg is--and how much pleasure I get from reading him."--John O'Brian, editor, Clement Greenberg: The Collected Essays and Criticism "Greenberg wrote the abiding philosophy of art for the period in which he flourished, and he did so in language that embodied the virtues of the aesthetic it enjoined."--Arthur Danto, Artforum "Not many in the long history of art have looded as deeply into art's mystery, or dreamed more deeply on its purpose.... There is treasure on every page."--Jules Olitsky "Non one who cares about modern culture can ignore Clement Greenberg's densely reasoned arguments and often dazzling insightful observations."--Karen Wilkin, The New Criterionshow more

About Clement Greenberg

Clement Greenberg's books include Art and Culture and four volumes of collected essays and criticism. Charles T. Harrison of the Open University, co editor of Art in Theory 1900 1990 and one of the leading writers on modernism, has written an introduction placing Homemade Esthetics in the context of Greenberg's work and the evolution of 20th century critism.show more

Rating details

27 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 33% (9)
4 30% (8)
3 33% (9)
2 0% (0)
1 4% (1)
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