William Packer

Impressions of Expressionists

A Sweeper-Up After Artists: A Memoir

By

Thames & Hudson 382pp £18.95 order from our bookshop

All memoirs are interesting, up to a point, and in so far as they are interesting, they are useful. Given the subject of this particular memoir (which is the life, the work, the feuds, the friendships and the gossip of the New York avant-garde over the past fifty years, closely observed and recorded from the inside by one of its most active and partisan survivors), it promised to be very interesting indeed. For this is the period that saw the rise of Abstract Expressionism, through the Forties and the Fifties, from the controversial engagement of a narrow coterie of painters and their supporters, virtuously embattled against the philistines in worthy poverty and , – critical neglect, to the achievement, by the early 1960s, of international renown. Pollock and Rothko, Kline and de Kooning, Motherwell and Still, the critics Greenberg and Rosenberg, the dealers Castelli, Lloyd, Janis – here they are, the heroes or villains as the case may be. From Rauschenberg to Koons it is a story that continues today.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,