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Clement Greenberg

Christopher Knight in conversation with Clement Greenberg


Before becoming a prominent art critic, Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) briefly studied art at the Art Students League in New York City. In 1930, at the height of the Depression, he graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in Literature. In the latter half of the 1930’s, Greenberg contributed to the Partisan Review; later becoming the publication’s editor. During WWII, he was regarded as the leading proponent on Modernism. He was an anti-Surrealist on the basis that it was the antithesis of abstraction, and disproved of any art with a subject matter. Greenberg is best known for his writing on Jackson Pollack, to whom he was introduced in 1942. His style of writing, now referred to as “Greenbergian Formalism,” blended the theories of Kant, Hans Hofmann, Walter Pater, and Roger Fry.

Interview Recorded on 5/9/1987

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