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Janice Van Horne
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A Complicated Marriage: My Life with Clement Greenberg

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  15 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In 1955, Jenny Van Horne was a 21-year-old, naive Bennington College graduate on her own for the first time in New York City. She meets 46-year-old Clement Greenberg who, she is told, is "the most famous, the most important, art critic in the world!" Knowing nothing about art, she soon finds herself swept into Clem's world and the heady company of Hans Hofmann, Willem de K ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Counterpoint LLC
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Shannon
Jun 08, 2013 Shannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Though she was half his age, 21 year-old Jenny Van Horne met and wed famous art critic Clement Greenberg in 1955. Despite her lack of knowledge, Van Horne was soon swept into the art world of Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Hanz Hoffman and David Smith. In her memoir A Complicated Marriage, Van Horne traces the path of the couple's life together, including the trajectory of their open marriage through progressing decades.

In a time where memoirs are a dime a dozen, especially from those well-conne
...more
Allison Hiltz
Jan 02, 2015 Allison Hiltz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
From The Book Wheel:

When I first requested A Complicated Marriage from TLC Book Tours (thanks!), I did so because I love biographies. Although I am not well-versed in the art world, I thought that I would branch out and try something a little bit more “cultural” than my typical reads, but I was a little scared that it would be over my head. Not so! While the book is a slow read – not because it’s boring or difficult – and it took me longer to get through than I had expected, but I thoroughly enj
...more
Monika
May 28, 2013 Monika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Janice Van Horne was so young when she met Clement Greenberg, complete with all the insecurities that come along with being in one's early 20's. I was struck by what an unlikely pair they seemed. She points out they were alike "in the ways that mattered," and the comfort they found in each other's presence shines throughout the book.

Their relationship begins in the mid-50's, when women still had very distinct, traditional roles. Van Horne adheres to these expectations, but at the same time pushe
...more
Laura de Leon
3.5 stars-- 3 stars for the first half, 4 stars for the second half.

I picked up this book for review because it reminded me of Patti Smith's Just Kids. It wasn't until I started reading it, and realized how strong the resemblance is, that I remembered I didn't love Just Kids.

Particularly for the first half of the book, the resemblance was strong. There was an odd distance between the narrator and the events she described. There were a lot of mentions of friendships and parties with people I knew
...more
Marie Castellano
A balanced account of a woman's life with an art critic of note. Janice Van Horne's remembrances of her life choices and the resulting effects. The first of the book is a bit sluggish, but sets up the last half of the book with deepening insights to those around her. The book also offers glimpses of the lives of famous artists of the 50s - 70s.
Sharon Chance
May 22, 2013 Sharon Chance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Janice Van Horne's memoir is a fascinating look in the world of art as seen through her eyes and through the eyes and influence of her husband, art critic Clement Greenberg. But it is also a wonderful story of a young woman finding her own identity beyond that of her husband during the blossoming time of the women's movement up to present times. She was a force to reckon with in both the theatrical world and literary circles.

Van Horne's remembrances are intriguing to read, and are filled with bo
...more
John
Writing this review will be interesting - I don't think I'm going to rate the book because of its nature as an autobiography. What plot is there in someone's life? I'll try to do it all justice as best I can, but I will say that Janice has lived a rewarding and unusual life in both her marriage to Clement and her individual fulfillment as a lover, an actress, a playwright, an art widow, and an individual. This woman's proof that one can do a lot of amazing things without direct fame, and that th ...more
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