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 HomemadeEsthetics in the context of Greenberg's work and the evolution of 20th century criticism.
About the Author
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 ofGreenberg's work and the evolution of 20th century critism.