PRINT November 1989


Knowledge of art is not enough to make one a critic, any more than knowledge of art is enough to make one an artist. The student who turns to art in order to avoid reflecting upon his condition may become a specialist, a scholar, a connoisseur, but not a critic. For the latter exists through curiosity, indignation, and the widest practice of intellectual freedom.

—Harold Rosenberg

THE DAY OF ART CRITICISM’S eclectic and accessible generalists—like Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg—are long gone. Certainly this has something to do with the increasing professionalization of the practice of criticism in general, for the funneling of the creative energy of young critics through academic channels has tended to produce specialists with little sense of (or interest in) synthetic perspectives. And needless to say, this academicization is related in complex ways to the commercialization of art,

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