Nothing If Not Critical

Nothing If Not Critical

Selected Essays on Art and Artists

Format
Paperback
Price
$18.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140165241
  • 448 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

From Holbein to Hockney, from Norman Rockwell to Pablo Picasso, from sixteenth-century Rome to 1980s SoHo, Robert Hughes looks with love, loathing, warmth, wit and authority at a wide range of art and artists, good, bad, past and present.
   As art critic for Time magazine, internationally acclaimed for his study of modern art, The Shock of the New, he is perhaps America’s most widely read and admired writer on art.  In this book:  nearly a hundred of his finest essays on the subject.
   For the realism of Thomas Eakins to the Soviet satirists Komar and Melamid, from Watteau to Willem de Kooning to Susan Rothenberg, here is Hughes—astute, vivid and uninhibited—on dozens of famous and not-so-famous artists.  He observes that Caravaggio was “one of the hinges of art history; there was art before him and art after him, and they were not the same”; he remarks that Julian Schnabel’s “work is to painting what Stallone’s is to acting”; he calls John Constable’s Wivenhoe Park “almost the last word on Eden-as-Property”; he notes how “distorted traces of [Jackson] Pollock lie like genes in art-world careers that, one might have thought, had nothing to do with his.”  He knows how Norman Rockwell made a chicken stand still long enough to be painted, and what Degas said about success (some kinds are indistinguishable from panic).
   Phrasemaker par excellence, Hughes is at the same time an incisive and profound critic, not only of particular artists, but also of the social context in which art exists and is traded.  His fresh perceptions of such figures as Andy Warhol and the French writer Jean Baudrillard are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions of the art market—its inflated prices and reputations, its damage to the public domain of culture.  There is a superb essay on Bernard Berenson, and another on the strange, tangled case of the Mark Rothko estate.  And as a finale, Hughes gives us “The SoHoiad,” the mock-epic satire that so amused and annoyed the art world in the mid-1980s.
   A meteor of a book that enlightens, startles, stimulates and entertains.

Table of Contents

Nothing If Not Critical – Robert Hughes Introduction: The Decline of the City of Mahagonny
Part One: Ancestors
Hans Holbein
Caravaggio
France in the Golden Age
Anthony Van Dyck
George Stubbs
Sir Joshua Reynolds
Goya
Zurbarán
Nicolas Poussin
Guido Reni
Inigo Jones
Jean-Siméon Chardin
John Constable
Antoine Watteau
Part Two: Nineteenth Century
German Romanticism
Edgar Degas
Courbet in Brooklyn
John Singer Sargent
Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Winslow Homer
James Whistler
Pre-Raphaelites
Camille Pissarro
Thomas Eakins
Part Three: Into Modernism
Toulouse-Lautrec
Auguste Rodin
Van Gogh and Cloisonnism
Édouard Manet
Henri Rousseau
Vincent van Gogh, Part 1
Vincent van Gogh, Part 2
Paul Gaugain
Part Four: Europeans
René Magritte
Vasily Kandinsky
Giorgio de Chirico
Julio Gonzalez
Max Beckmann
Henri Matisse in Nice
Futurism
English Art in the Twentieth Century
Oskar Kokoschka
Giorgio Morandi
Late Picasso
Part Five: Americans
Thomas Hart Benton
Deco and Fins
Morris Louis
Diego Rivera
David Smith, Sculptures
David Smith, Drawings
Lee Krasner
Milton Avery
Jackson Pollock
Arshile Gorky
Joseph Cornell
Edward Hopper
Norman Rockwell
Mark Rothko in Babylon
Andy Warhol
Part Six: Contemporaries
Saul Steinberg
James Turrell
R. B. Kitaj
Roy Lichenstein
Nam June Paik
Richard Diebenkorn
Komar and Melamid
Howard Hodgkin
Louise Bourgeois
Philip Pearlstein
Robert Motherwell
Sandro Chia
Malcolm Morley
Julian Schnabel
Jean-Michel Basquiat: Requiem for a Featherweight
Willem de Kooning
Francis Bacon
Francesco Clemente
James Rosenquist
Alex Katz
Susan Rothenberg
Anselm Kiefer
Elizabeth Murray
David Hockney
Donald Sultan
Leon Kossoff
Eric Fischl
Sean Scully
Christopher Wilmarth
Bernard Berenson
Tom Wolfe: From Bauhaus to Our House
Brideshead Redecorated
Jean Baudrillard: America
Art and Money
The SoHoiad: or, The Masque of Art
Index
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