Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Clement Greenberg VERSUES Peter Bürger

These two Twentieth Century critics Clement Greenberg and Peter Bürger took what seems to be diametrically opposing views which once you understand their arcane, academic languages and references (I was greatly assisted by Open University Handbooks in my translation), they can be distilled down to the following:

What they stand for…

Capitalism VERSUES Marxism
Bourgeois elite VERSUES proletariat
Art for art’s sake VERSUES Art for the people by the people
Modernism VERSUES Historical Avant-Garde
Cubism, Abstract Expressionism VERSUES Dada, Surrealism, Constructivism
Picasso, Braque, Mondrian VERSUES Rodchenko, Heartfield, Popocva
Picasso’s Glass and Bottle of Suze
Heratfield’s The Meaning of the Hitler Salute

What they said….

Greenberg : The artist is totally autonomous
Bürger : The avant-garde intend the abolition of autonomous art
Greenberg : The artist must be insulated from ideological confusion and violence.
Bürger : Sublation [Reintegartion] of art into the praxis of life
Greenberg : Avoids subject matter like the plague

Edwards, S. 2004 AA318 Art of the 20th Century, Study Handbook 2 Art of the Avant-Gardes, Milton Keynes, The Open University
Edwards, S ed 1999 Art and Its Histories A Reader, New Haven and London, Yale Press in association with The Open University
Gaiger, J. & Wood, P. 2003 Art of the Twentieth Century A Reader, New Haven and London, Yale Press in association with The Open University
Wood, P. 2001, Art and Its Histories Study Handbook 4 – The Challenge of the Avant-Garde, Milton Keynes, The Open University

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