Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg
By Alice Goldfarb Marquis.
In the years of his greatest dominance, Clement Greenberg almost single-handedly established Jackson Pollock and the New York School at the center of the American art world. His work set the tone for art criticism for half a century to come. This biography, based on unpublished and previously unavailable documents, interviews and archives, presents a riveting story of imagination and grandiosity, of vision and tragic excess. With clarity and insight, Alice Goldfarb Marquis, author of the widely acclaimed Marcel Duchamp: The Bachelor Stripped Bare (which the Washington Times called "the one indispensable Duchamp companion") and Art Lessons (named best nonfiction book of the year by the San Diego Book Awards), explores Greenberg's complex relations with numerous friends and lovers, including Pollock, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler and Harold Rosenberg. It also recreates the heady art scene in America from the 1940s through the 1980s, detailing the ways in which a generation of critics, with Greenberg at the helm, used personal conviction and innate notions of taste to set the course of modern art. Greenberg remains an indispensable reference in any discussion of art criticism, and Art Czar is the first biography to provide a complete, evenhanded portrait of the man, his work and his times.