By Robert Hughes
From Holbein to Hockney, from Norman Rockwell to Pablo Picasso, from sixteenth-century Rome to Nineteen Eighties SoHo, Robert Hughes seems to be with love, loathing, heat, wit and authority at quite a lot of artwork and artists, reliable, undesirable, earlier and present.
As paintings critic for Time journal, the world over acclaimed for his research of contemporary paintings, The surprise of the New, he's probably America’s most generally learn and fashionable author on art. during this book: approximately 100 of his best essays at the subject.
For the realism of Thomas Eakins to the Soviet satirists Komar and Melamid, from Watteau to Willem de Kooning to Susan Rothenberg, here's Hughes—astute, bright and uninhibited—on dozens of well-known and not-so-famous artists. He observes that Caravaggio was once “one of the hinges of paintings heritage; there has been paintings sooner than him and paintings after him, they usually weren't the same”; he feedback that Julian Schnabel’s “work is to portray what Stallone’s is to acting”; he calls John Constable’s Wivenhoe Park “almost the ultimate on Eden-as-Property”; he notes how “distorted strains of [Jackson] Pollock lie like genes in art-world careers that, one may need concept, had not anything to do with his.” He understands how Norman Rockwell made a poultry stand nonetheless lengthy adequate to be painted, and what Degas acknowledged approximately good fortune (some types are indistinguishable from panic).
Phrasemaker par excellence, Hughes is while an incisive and profound critic, not just of specific artists, but additionally of the social context within which paintings exists and is traded. His clean perceptions of such figures as Andy Warhol and the French author Jean Baudrillard are matched in brilliance via his smelly discussions of the paintings market—its inflated costs and reputations, its harm to the general public area of culture. there's a amazing essay on Bernard Berenson, and one other at the unusual, tangled case of the Mark Rothko estate. And as a finale, Hughes offers us “The SoHoiad,” the mock-epic satire that so amused and frustrated the paintings international within the mid-1980s.
A meteor of a booklet that enlightens, startles, stimulates and entertains.