Wednesday, November 12, 2014

the last book I ever read (Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word, excerpt eight)

from The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe:

Twenty-five years from now, that will not seem like such a facetious idea. I am willing (now that so much has been revealed!) to predict that in the year 2000, when the Metropolitan or Museum of Modern Art puts on the great retrospective exhibition of American Art 1945-75, the three artists who will be featured, the three seminal figures of the era, will be not Pollock, de Kooning, and Johns—but Greenberg, Rosenberg, and Steinburg. Up on the walls will be huge copy blocks, eight and a half by eleven feet each, presenting the protean passages of the period … a little “fuliginous flatness” here … a little “action painting” there … and some of that “all great art is about art” just beyond. Beside them will be small reproductions of the work of leading illustrators of the Word from that period, such as Johns, Louis, Noland, Stella, and Olitski. (Pollock and de Kooning will have a somewhat higher status, although by no means a major one, because of the more symbiotic relationship they were fortunate enough to enjoy with the great Artists of the Word.)

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