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harold rosenberg

the de-definition of art

feltrinelli, milano 1975, pp.243


by maria de vivo

seen through the eyes of harold rosenberg art, in the early seventies, can only live in the impossibility of its complete definition. "Painting, sculpture, theater, music, were subjected to a process of sdefinizione. the nature of the art has made uncertain, or, at least, ambiguous. no one can say for sure what it is or, what is more, what is not a work of art. " analyzing the boundaries of this problem as challenging condition, already foreshadowed in the pages of the anxious object (1964), the American critic public in 1972, the de-definition of art, a collection of twenty-two pieces, including essays and reviews have appeared on the "new yorker "that are articulated through four devoted to the examination of individual artists, the relationship between Europe and America, according to the critic misunderstood in the alleged claim of continuity between school new york and European avant-garde, the state of criticism - its sacrifices, in reality, and the deterioration of its protagonists to the role of "critical packagers" or "swinging curators" - and new functions and new dangers to which he is called to answer "the museum today."

rosenberg through so the story avant-garde art from the present, touching many of the nerves dell'artworld, to say as danto. prose is taut, shiny and attractive. often the author rises from mere artistic practice to make forays into the world of literature, philosophy and lifestyle, but the text can not dissolve the nostalgia, scattered everywhere but never explicitly stated, to the new painting made by those "individuals confusing, uncertain and all aimed at understanding the meaning and insights of themselves."

the star of rosenberg had shone bright in the fifties when the definition of "American action painters" coined in 1952 had become the most successful formula and congenial to emphasize not only the mere gestures as the construction of identity through the act art. in the following decade, the prevalence of formalist criticism of clement greenberg had downgraded its existential perspective in the things to forget. with the "-s definition of art", the title and the contents of which are calculated on a "dematerialization of the art object" reconstructed within the U.S. by Lucy Lippard and John Chandler in 1968, rosenberg sessantaseienne finds himself investigating a present - that of the earthworks and conceptual art - that seems to have taken to the limit (hardly bearable, apparently) the emptying of aesthetic content. the de-aestheticization of the work is perceived as a loss of power, not as a positive re-signification. "Despite the insistence on the reality of the materials used, which is common to all categories of de-aestheticized art is that the finished product, if it exists, is less significant procedures that determine the existence of the work and where they are track ". is the reduction of meaning and the absence of traces, which also identify the characteristics of the new proposals, which consumes the gap. What remains, therefore, the positions that Rosenberg says in 1972? Meanwhile, the book is also an invitation to read other books. need to know baudelaire, and above all Dostoyevsky, as suggested by Dore Ashton, to grasp fully the passion, never concealed militancy and along the torments and the discomfort of the critic in not being able to recognize the man, his being (there) in 'work. and then Rosenberg proves to be able to build on your own care against the anguish of thought because "the uncertain nature of art, however, is not without advantages. leads us to experiment and continue to ask questions. much of the art is part of a debate best visual interpretation of what is art."