Rosalind Krauss and American Philosophical Art Criticism: From Formalism to beyond Postmodernism

Rosalind Krauss and American Philosophical Art Criticism: From Formalism to beyond Postmodernism

Rosalind Krauss and American Philosophical Art Criticism: From Formalism to beyond Postmodernism

Rosalind Krauss and American Philosophical Art Criticism: From Formalism to beyond Postmodernism

Synopsis

Rosalind Krauss is, without visible rival, the most influential American art writer since Clement Greenberg. Together with her colleagues at October, the journal she co-founded, she has played a key role in the introduction of French theory into the American art world. In the 1960s, though first a follower of Greenberg, she was inspired by her readings of French structuralist and post-structuralist materials, revolted against her mentor's formalism, and developed a succession of radically original styles of art history writing. Offering a complete survey of her career and work, Rosalind Krauss and American Philosophical Art Criticism: From Formalism to Beyond Postmodernism comprises the first book-length study of its subject.

Written in the lucid style of analytic philosophy, this accessible commentary offers a consideration of her arguments as well as discussions of alternative positions. Tracing Krauss's development in this way provides the best method of understanding the changing styles of American art criticism from the 1960s through the present, and thus provides an invaluable source of historical and aesthetic knowledge for artists and art scholars alike.

Excerpt

This book tells the story of Rosalind Krauss's intellectual career. This preface is where I briefly explain my background, telling how and why I came to write this account. Trained as a philosopher, in 19801 started writing art criticism. the inspired writing of Joseph Masheck, then editor of Artforum, initially led me to focus on abstract painting. Thanks to supportive editors at Artforum, Art in America, Arts Magazine, Artlnternational, the Burlington Magazine, Modern Painters, Kunst Chronik, and Tema Celeste, I have published a great deal of art criticism in the past twenty years.

As a critic, I was especially concerned to write about what I saw. But I often wondered how to write a history of art from this period, which is not easy to understand. Like every American critic, I read Rosalind Krauss's publications and her journal October. and I reviewed a number of her books. It took me a long time to see that a study of her career was the best way to describe the development of American artwriting in the era after Abstract Expressionism. Krauss is a famous critic, but no one yet has evaluated her achievement. Writing as an analytic philosopher, my aim is to tell her story, showing how she deals in very challenging ways with philosophical concerns. Krauss's books are readily accessible, and so I am not concerned with summarizing them. My aim, rather, is to present and debate her contribution to the philosophical study of visual art.

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