tom moody

More on Harold Rosenberg

Reply to Catherine Spaeth (re: this post and this):

I'm getting a hint of criticism about posting on my commentless blog and not [in your comments]. Not everyone wants me barging onto their threads with my take no prisoners style.

After having completely open, unmoderated (and at times quite lively) comments for six years I turned them off when I moved to my current URL. Mainly because spam was making it impossible to converse in a spontaneous way and I don't want to deal with filters and "capchas." And other reasons I won't belabor.

I believe with hyperlinking it is possible to have conversations between blogs without using comments, but that's me.

The paired Rosenberg/Greenberg quotes in the Jewish Museum show consistently had the latter getting the better of the former. Another example I recall concerned Barnett Newman. Greenberg had an almost poMo observation about Newman's canvases being perfect foils for clean modern spaces; Rosenberg's quote consisted of rhetorical questions about what kind of man Newman was (a man of taste, erudition, etc., I forget the exact accolades).

I'm actually not interested in "formalism" if it means technique as subject matter. Where I am entranced with Greenberg is his engagement with history and his translation of AbEx studio talk into a critical language.* With Rosenberg I get the sense he liked talking at artists rather than listening to them. (The Naifeh and Smith Pollock bio confirms as much.) Greenberg was doing that by the 1960s but early on he was a good student.

*Addendum: that is, a language that is logical, a pleasure to read, and can to some extent be objectively measured by people working in other disciplines. It is one reason Greenberg has greater currency outside the art world, as mentioned earlier.

- tom moody

August 28th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Posted in general