PRINT November 1967




All the while we have been viewing him as the most hardboiled ideologue, the affronted Mr. Greenberg has been considering himself the willing victim of the most unpredictable and involuntary esthetic reactions. It is quite a surprise, especially in the light of the fact that, no matter how liberal he claims to be in private, he has for years chosen to write only about one tendency in art. That he sees this tendency as the most significant is his privilege, but to elevate it as the modernism stemming from, and validated by the tradition of modern art is not only to confuse part with whole, or to revise a complex, highly differentiated history, but to erect a superstructure hemming in that very “quality” he generously judges to be so diffused in the experience of contemporary art.

Besides, if “quality” equals content, and content is undiscussable, it is also an absolute, an “effect”

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