New York

“The Apocalyptic Vision: Four New Imagists”

Galleri Bellman

“The Apocalyptic Vision: Four New Imagists”

The observation that most of what passes for art criticism is little more than lists of worn clichés is itself a commonplace. But this familiarity does not make it any less true that art writers prefer to use resonant phrases which originally had little meaning and now, through overuse, have none. The popularity of such phrases rests in their utter inability to communicate any specific thing, idea, or emotion; thus they free the writer (and the patient reader) from any obligation to look at or think about the art in question. The upsurge of an expressionistically inclined imagism in painting—a cliché-ridden practice in its own right—provides an excellent ground on which the critic can practice his meaningless sport. One can easily imagine the thrill with with typewriters and word processors automatically list our favorite phrases—“personal urgency,”

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.