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The other bone Wolfe has to pick is with the proliferation of art theory, particularly the sort purveyed by postwar colossi like Harold Rosenberg, Clement Greenberg, and Leo Steinberg. Decades after the heyday of abstract expressionism, these guys make pretty easy targets. What could be more absurd, after all, than endless Jesuitical disputes about the flatness of the picture plane? So most of them get a highly comical spanking from the author. It's worth pointing out, of course, that Wolfe paints with a broad (as it were) brush. If he's skewering the entire army of artistic pretenders in a single go, there's no room to admit that Jasper Johns or Willem DeKooning might actually have some talent. But as he would no doubt admit, The Painted Word isn't about the history of art. It's about the history of taste and middlebrow acquisition--and nobody has chronicled these two topics as hilariously or accurately as Tom Wolfe. --James Marcus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"If you have ever stared uncomprehendingly at an abstract painting that admired critics have said you ought to dig, take heart. Tom Wolfe . . . is on your side. The Painted Word may enrage you. It may confirm your darkest suspicions about Modern Art. In any case, it will amuse you."--New York Sunday News
"Tom Wolfe is a journalist who always manages to combine an encyclopedic store of inside knowledge with the obstinate detachment of a visitor from Mars, not to mention a brilliant style and incisive wit."--San Francsico Chronicle
"The Painted Word may well be Tom Wolfe's most successful piece of social criticism to date."--The New York Times
"The Painted Word is a masterpiece. No one in the art world . . . could fail to recognize its essential truth. I read it four times, each of them with mounting envy for Wolfe's eye, ear, and surgical skill."--The Washington Post
"His eye and ear for detailed observations are incomparable; and observation is to the satirist what bullets are to a gun."--The Boston Sunday Globe
This book is for anyone that loves art, yet cannot understand how we got so far down the rabbit hole with art in the modern era. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert Rodger
If you have ever been baffled by the ugliness presented by the art world, you are not alone! Tom Wolfe feels your pain and he explains (in very funny terms) why we have treated as... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Taylor O.
Key document to understand postwar abstraction and the relationship of art to language. Tom Wolfe is a snide whelp here, as usual, but the meaning has value to all visual artists... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wolfwerk
informative, amusing, cinic and serious, sardonic but curious, alive and worthy. the best way to write about modern art. very good read.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
As a traditional artist, the rift between "representational" art, and "abstract expressionism", among many other descriptive titles, is infuriating. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dave Henderson
. I love Tom Wolfe, the journalist of our times, nuancing every bit of truth out of our changing times. Read morePublished 5 months ago by KAY HIGDON
Brutal, hilarious, persuasive puncturing of the last hundred years or so of art in the West. A fun little airplane read. Recommended.Published 5 months ago by William R. Dailey
I'm an artist and it was interesting to read a "non 2 dim artist" express his opinions even if I don't totally agree. Interesting with great prose as usual.Published 5 months ago by California Red