PRINT September 1962



I have no wish to quarrel with Mr. Phillip Leider’s appreciation of my book, Arshile Gorky. There is in it, however, a comment which I am at a loss to understand. It must have been occasioned either by an accident or by a lapse.

Mentioning that I had cited three sources for Gorky’s Diary of a Seducer, Ingres, David and the Virginia landscape, Mr. Leider remarks that, “something more would seem to be called for than the simple conclusion that ‘probably all three statements are correct.’”

Something more was indeed called for—and was supplied. Three paragraphs of analysis of The Diary follow the opinions quoted (pages 115–116). This analysis applies to The Diary the concepts of allusion, quotation (including self quotation) and parody which Mr. Leider found so illuminating.

I stress this examination of a particular painting in Arshile Gorky because it tests the principles by which Gorky’s art and experience are fused in the book.

—Harold Rosenberg
New York


Regarding the issue of the now historic Stanley Rose Gallery:

Into the early ‘30’s some of the L.A. bookshops displayed reproductions, prints and paintings—high above the bookshelves and, occasionally, also on a tiny rear balcony often cluttered with storage. The Stanley Rose Bookshop was then on Vine Street and it was just another such place—a crummy setting for art, and to call it a “gallery” would be most pretentious. Cherry, a young painter, worked for this bookshop. The displays there were, at best, an ineffectual effort to imitate the exceptionally fine job done by Jake Zeitlin.

When Stanley Rose moved to Hollywood Boulevard a suitable gallery, devoted to contemporary art, became a reality. I designed and directed it. In no way did Cherry participate in this project. One of the early shows contained examples of Labaudt, Merrild, the two youngsters Guston and Kadish, and some of the European Surrealists, Young Jules Langsner wrote the catalogue foreword. Several years before my arrival in Los Angeles, in 1927, Brigante, Krasnow, Deutsch, Berlin, Wright, and others had done their bit for contemporary art in this area, which was then more difficult. The historic facts regarding art developments in Los Angeles are being collected by the Los Angeles Art Association.

—Lorser Feitelson
Los Angeles


I am pleased to have become a charter subscriber to Artforum. Such a magazine is very much needed in California where so much fine painting and sculpture is being produced. The existence of your magazine may help provide the stimulus so sadly needed to encourage collectors to buy the excellent work at hand. Articles by well known writers will certainly be important, but the most valuable single feature would be a large number of black and white and color reproductions. Not only artists but collectors and others seriously interested in art use their eyes first and the number and quality of the reproductions will determine the success of your brilliant venture. One bad amateur work can spoil a whole issue.

Notable in the July issue No. 2 were a letter by Wilfred Zogbaum answering in serious and dignified language the earlier article by Lester Longman and Philip Leider’s review of John Canaday’s book Embattled Critic. The point of view expressed by Zogbaum and Leider could well serve as the intelligent, enlightened policy of Artforum. The reviews by John Coplans reveal a remark able grasp of the problems of the serious artist. Good luck to your magazine.

—Erle Loran
University of California, Berkeley


It was a distinct pleasure to see a copy of your excellent new magazine. Such a journal, devoted to reporting on the art that is west of the Hudson, has long been needed.

—Clinton Adams, Dean
College of Fine Arts
University of New Mexico


Particularly enjoyed Kate Steinitz’s article on “Fantastic Architecture” and hope the future will allow you to do periodic articles on the relationship of contemporary art to architecture.

As you know, the West Coast has done exceptionally stimulating work in this area and it would be of great service if this material was covered from to time. With all best wishes for your continued success.

—Joseph Young
Los Angeles