The Painted Word
"America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek) trains his satirical eye on Modern Art in this "masterpiece" (The Washington Post)
Wolfe's style has never been more dazzling, his wit never more keen. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. This is Tom Wolfe "at his m
Jack the Dripper, the king of Abstract Expressionism, an art movement author Tom Wolfe didn't hold in high regard
You will be hard-pressed to find a more lively, wittier book on the phenomenon of modern art than Tom Wolfe’s “The Painted Word,” a 100-page romp through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s where the author jabs his sharp satirical needle with signature debunking flare into Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Op Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. And that’s ‘Painted Word’ as in Wolfe’s epiphany ...more
When I lived in New York, I liked to take dates (including the future Mrs. Jeff) to the Modern Museum of Art. I would bone up on modern art with this book, so I could dazzle my dates with shallow insight, and ...more
If one likes the art that Wolfe takes apart, you might find yourself inclined to dislike the book without giving what he's saying enough consideration. He makes some absolutely valid points and more importantly, he hints at a broader trend - the rift between the public viewer and the insular art world. Here, I think ...more
Tom Wolfe's small but potent book charts the course of Modern Art. The stylistic writing is as witty and provocative as Wolfe's earlier book "Radical Chic."
The genesis of the book's title stems from a revelation that Wolfe obtained from an art exhibit's 1974 review in the New York Times. The critic had basically stated that to view art witho ...more
Wolfe is much more supportive of various flavors of representational art of the same period and the preceding centuries because he thinks this art can be appreciated without depending on theories.
The basic fallacy of this ...more
Wolfe also tries to better d ...more
This was probably about round 6 of a 12 rounder between painting and theory. Up to this pont Theory had been winning every round and it looked like painting was going to have to throw in the towel and abandon the title. Wolfe stepped into Painting's corner and this round was a decisive winner.
Nobody seems to know what the final outcome of the Championship bout was..... but Painting is still alive and going from ...more
It's not the main point of the book, but it stood out to me that Wolfe attributes Modern Art - as a culture, as a religion, as a movement - to a kind of bourgeois guilt. That is, the shame of the Western secular elite over their own economic s ...more
You have to appreciate Wolfe for his bluster and charming if irritating and irascible ability to simplify everything to the level of the five-year-old, which is about the age of his persona as an essay writer, esp. circa 1974, when he wrote this. Nevertheless I was inspired to rea ...more
I wish I had read this book years ago. It made very clear to me all the things that had always puzzled me about "modern art." Wolfe covers art movements starting with Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, and on through Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Op Art, Art Installations, Earth Art and Conceptual Art.
There is humor throughout the book, such as this quote from an art critic of the time: "Shards of i ...more
First published in 1975, Wolf decomposes modern art movements in a way that is both enlightening and entertaining. His clever style provides the reader wit ...more
This is an essay about the art world. According to Wolfe, the public, with their dollars determines the most popular books, music and concerts. They do not choose art. Art is chosen by a small cadre of insiders and the media parrots what they say. “The public is not invited”.
Mr. Wolfe makes his case with wit and detail which I f ...more
Какво се случи с изобразителното изкуство през последния век? Кога красивите тела на класическите скулптури и ренесансовите художници изчезнаха от картините и бяха заместени първо с изкривени, уродливи чудовища, а после с безсмислени абстракции? Кога "картина", състояща се от една червена линия на син фон придоби цена от $60 млн.?
Ако, като мен, си задавате тия въпроси, Том Улф има отговор на тях, само не знам дали ще ви хареса. С огромна вещина и познаване на дълбините и ...more
This is a cynical and insightful description of some of the forces behind 'success' in art, mostly centered in mid-last-century. It was recommended to me by two friends who are both professional artists. One is a sculptor and my mentor, and the other a painter. In my subjective view, they should both be rich and famous, or at least a lot richer and a lot more famous. How is it that folks with mastery of their media never attain the absurd success of Jack ...more
Tom Wolfe spent his early days as a Washington Post beat reporter, where his free-association, onomatopoetic style would later become the trademark of New Journalism. In books such as The Electric Koolaid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and The Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe delves into ...more