Writing Back to Modern Art assesses the "critical modernisms" of the three leading art writers of the second half of the twentieth century: Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried, and T.J. Clark. With a focus on the issues of aesthetic evaluation

Writing Back to Modern Art assesses the "critical modernisms" of the three leading art writers of the second half of the twentieth century: Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried, and T.J. Clark. With a focus on the issues of aesthetic evaluation, subjectivity, and meaning in art and art writing, this book examines key discourses in art criticism and art history. In the first full-length study of its kind, Harris identifies points of significant agreement and sharp intellectual disjunction between these critics in their respective accounts of modernism in the visual arts since the 1860s. Developing the notions of "good" and "bad" complexity in modernist criticism, Harris develops an historical and theoretical framework for understanding the development of modern art writing and its relation to the "post-modern" in art and society since the 1970s. Though centered on an examination of canonical modern artists and their place in modernist-critical historiography, with chapters on Manet, Cezanne, Picasso, Pollock, Frank Stella and Cindy Sherman, Writing Back to Modern Art suggests ways to think outside of these discourses of value and meaning.

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