Linda Nochlin

  • Frayed Fraud

    MY INITIAL REACTION TO the exhibition “Lucian Freud: Recent Work,” at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art this winter, was an almost visceral repugnance. It was a malaise brought on by a combination of undistinguished painting and bad faith, tricked out with surely the most ostentatious hype ever lavished on a living artist: a veritable “blizzard of blague,” to borrow the words of Hilton Kramer, a critic whose words I do not borrow often. As I revisited the show, it became clear that Freud’s achievement rests on a traditional and complacent belle peinture—not even so beautiful at that, but

  • Philip Pearlstein’s Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer

    PHILIP PEARLSTEIN’S Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer ties together the personal and the intellectual strands of my life like no other work of art. It was commissioned in 1968, as a wedding portrait, and we are both wearing more or less the clothes we were married in: Dick, white linen trousers and a blue shirt; I, a white dress with a bold blue geometric pattern. We are represented sitting in Philip’s studio in Skowhegan, illuminated by the cold light of dentists’ lamps, sweating in the heat of a Maine summer, though this latter condition is not recorded.

    The painting engages a long

  • Edvard Munch

    RARELY HAS THE QUESTION of content in the art of the past hundred years been more vividly raised than at the retrospective exhibition of the works of Edvard Munch (1863–1944) at the Guggenheim Museum in New York from October 1965 to January 1966. From the earliest painting in the show—the somberly naturalistic portrait of his sister Inger of 1884—to the latest—Between Clock and Bed: Self-Portrait of 1940–42, with the old man himself pinioned into place between time and death—Munch’s long and extremely uneven career is marked by an unending attempt to work out suitable pictorial equivalents for