Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986-93. 1st Edition. 4 vols., octavo, publisher's slate blue cloth, spines gilt, original printed dust jackets.
"Where the Old Masters created an illusion of space into which one could imagine walking, the illusion created by a Modernist is one into which one can look, can travel through, only with the eye." Four-volume set of renowned American art critic Clement Greenberg’s collected essays. While known for being an enduring champion of Abstract Expressionism and Modernism, Greenberg began his career as a literary critic (he was an early translator of Kafka and Brecht into English), while also writing about politics and other "high culture" subjects. With the publication of his provocative Marxist essay "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" (1939) in the Partisan Review, Greenberg quickly became regarded as a leading visual arts writer of materialist concerns. He became an editor for Partisan Review, an art critic for The Nation, a member of the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, and a prolific champion of avant-garde art and artists. This gathering comprises thirty years of Greenberg’s writing, charting his development from young Trotskyite to the dominant art and culture critic of his time. Illustrated with black-and-white photos and reproductions. Edited, with introductions and notes, by art historian and curator John O’Brian; with bibliographies, chronologies, and indexes. A few unobtrusive marginal pencil notations. Some edgewear to unclipped dust jackets (more so to first two volumes). A better than very good set. Item #4804