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New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century Paperback – February 13, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


“Exemplary....focuses not only upon the major figures of ascendant movements but also upon how a variety of independent-minded artists, energized by the vitality of the mid-century exchange of ideas, found individual means of expression."—The Washington Post Book World “The sort of grand marriage of criticism, history and biography that Edmund Wilson achieved in his finest books. . . . A thrilling achievement.” —The Atlantic Monthly “Bound to stand as the definitive volume on this hectic and fertile period in American art for years to come.”—Art News"Fascinating . . . by far the most thorough account of the ‘triumph of American painting’ that we have. . . . A splendid achievement and an exceptionally worthwhile read." —The Christian Science Monitor"Shows the incisiveness and pluck of George Bernard Shaw writing about music or Pauline Kael reviewing movies. . . . Opens onto new surprises at every turn."—San Francisco Chronicle“Few people write about art as beautifully, one might say as tenderly, as Jed Perl.” —The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Jed Perl was born in New York City in 1951. He received a BA from Columbia College and studied painting at the Skowhegan School in Maine. He was a contributing editor to Vogue in the 1980s and has been the art critic for The New Republic since 1994. Among his books are Paris Without End: On French Art Since World War I and Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter Deborah Rosenthal.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (February 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400034655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400034659
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Nadja on April 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Jed Perl's *New Art City* is a dense, fact-filled, often opinionated volume detailing the gradual shift of the art-world's creative center from Paris to New York City throughout the 20th century. This is not a text for the casual browser: with the exception of a few biographical sketches of the artists discussed, Perl is not always a lively writer and the majority of *New Art City* is comprised of critical and philosophical reflections--his own and others'--on the art and art movements he discusses. That's all for the better if you're a serious student of art history, or an artist: you'll welcome Perls' serious and nuanced approach, even if some of his concerns go straight over your head.

Perls' focus is on the artists of what has come to be known as The New York School--deKooning, Pollock, Newman, Kline, etc--and their nominal mentor, Hans Hoffman, but he also covers the legacy these artists left on American art all the way through the Pop 60s and on into the mid-70s/80s. His discussion of the passionate and multitudinous responses and reactions to Abstract Expressionism leading to the "end of painting" and how artists sought a solution to the `crisis' between abstraction and representation--a crisis that continues to this day--is rich and thought-provoking. Perl deals mainly with the painters of this period, but also takes into consideration sculptors, critics, gallery owners, and museum directors whose activities helped change--literally--the face of modern art. Some figures, like deKooning and Pollock, will probably be familiar enough to readers but others like Fairfield Porter, Leland Bell, and Nell Blaine will more likely come as something of a revelation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The great tradition of his other works is kept here. For those interested in the Art City (of New York) this is a must.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas R. Sebastian on November 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Perl really lets you in on the 'secret' of the madcap world of the great artists of the last century. -- Made me want to go right into the basement and construct something from scratch!
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