Struggle Over the Modern: Purity and Experience in American Art Criticism, 1900-1960

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Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2005 - Art - 168 pages
"The most familiar strain of this debate to us today is formalism, which emphasized "purity" in art and culminated in the writing of the influential late modern critic, Clement Greenberg. The other critical position, he contends, is not as familiar to us today, partly because it was so overshadowed by formalist thought in the postwar period. This position emphasized the importance of "experience" over formal purity and is evident in the writing of Greenberg's rival, Harold Rosenberg, as well as in a number of American writers and critics from the first half of the century. Struggle Over the Modern reconstitutes this neglected yet important dimension of the avant-garde debate in American art criticism decade by decade."--Jacket.
 

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Contents

Formalism and AntiFormalism in TurnoftheCentury American Thought
17
Formalism and AntiFormalism in the Critical Debate Surrounding the Armory Show
25
A Split Among the Moderns
33
The Paradigms Take Shape
45
The Paradigm Comes of Age I The Social Parameters of Experience
68
The Paradigm Comes of Age II The Political Parameters of Experience
89
Formalism as a Minority Position in the 1930s and into the 1940s
104
The Culmination of the Paradigms in Postwar Critical Thought
120
Conclusion
143
Notes
145
Bibliography
161
Index
167
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