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Photo: Eleanore Lazare


"... At this same party [a] friend introduced the then comparatively young art critic Clement Greenberg... Marianne seemed to be familiar with his writing and said, on shaking hands, "Oh, the fearless Mr. Greenberg."

-- Elizabeth Bishop in Efforts of Affection: A Memoir of Marianne Moore


The greatest art critic of the second half of the 20th century, Clement Greenberg was arguably the greatest art critic of all time.

This site may not convert Greenberg's many detractors, though it may controvert their claims; it presents the opinions of friends and admirers as well as selections from Greenberg's own writing. Material will be added as it becomes available.

My thanks for support from Greenberg's many friends and especially from his widow, Janice Van Horne.

Thanks, in advance, to readers, students, and art lovers.

­­­ -- Terry Fenton

(c) Copyright of Clement Greenberg's writing is property of the Clement Greenberg estate and may not be reproduced without permission.
For permissions contact the Estate of Clement Greenberg at



Janice Van Horne

My Life With Clement Greenberg

Now in paperback and e-book





Greenberg on Greenberg a brief autobiography from 1955


On Modernism and the Avant Garde

Avant Garde and Kitsch (1939)
Modernist Painting (1960)
Avant Garde Attitudes (1968)
Modern and Postmodern (1979)

Cross-Breeding of Sculpture 1952. A masterly historical overview
, (1959) the pre-eminent essay on Cubism, the seeds of abstraction, and assemblage. Required reading.
Hofmann (1961) a seminal essay on Hans Hofmann, the great and still underappreciated master



Influences of Matisse (1973) A catalogue text from an exhibition at Acquavella Galleries, New York
Detached Observations (1972) on the history of art
Interview (1978) Robert McLaughlin Gallery, re: 1957 Toronto visit and studio practice.
Autonomies of Art (1980) Life and art, morality and art, the place of art -- includes link to RealAudio
Art Criticism (1981) On the State of Criticism, from Partisan Review
Taste (1983) Text (plus Real Audio) of a talk at Western Michigan University
Interview (1991) From The Edmonton Review, 1996

by Clement Greenberg

Out of print for 50 years!


The Man Who Loved Pictures, 1994 a memorial tribute by Terry Fenton

Greenberg the Critic, 2001. An overview by Terry Fenton.
The Unconditional Aesthete, by Darby Bannard,1987, a discussion of Greenberg's contribution.
In The Studio by Sir Anthony Caro, Nov. 2000. Includes link to new Caro web site.

Soulmates in Art by Peter Harris, Oct 2001. Greenberg and an Australian painter.

The Veteran Critic by Neil Marshall, Nov. 2000. Judgment; manners, good & ill.

Clement Greenberg, a Memoir by Tim Hilton, from the New Criterion archive, Sept. 2000

The Slippery Slope of Hope by John Link. Is decadence upon us?

ANECDOTES -- please send us yours...



 This seminar was held June 1-3 2007 at Emma Lake, Saskatchewan, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan. The papers by teachers and students of aesthetics from Canada and the United States proved to be serious and sympathetic, a far cry from Greenberg's treatment by the art world during his lifetime. Selected papers from the workshop have been published in a special issue of AE: The Canadian Aesthetics Journal devoted to the workshop proceedings.

The Greenberg I Knew, 2007. Keynote address to the Kant/Greenberg seminar (slightly revised) by Terry Fenton




Books by and about Greenberg

Review by Helen Frankenthaler of The Harold Letters from Partisan Review


Journalism 101... 1998 a review by Piri Halasz of Florence Rubenfeld's Clement Greenberg Greenberg, A Life

Greenberg in the 40s; his Critics in the 80s by Piri Halasz. A detailed examination.

A Critic and His Critics: the Reception of Clement Greenberg: A Life by Karen Wilkin

Rubenfeld Aftermath by Terry Fenton 

Against Clembashing by Peter Harris -- the phenomenon isn't confined to North America.

Beyond Revisionism: Reconsidering Clement Greenberg's Cold War Politics by Sheila Christofides



Text by Karen Wilkin

The Portland Art Museum acquired Greenberg's art collection, which consists primarily of gifts from artists, and organized a traveling exhibition drawn from it.



Please feel free to contact us. Comments, anecdotes, articles, and queries are welcome. 



Writing on art
and paintings
by Terry Fenton


An electronic journal of plain talk about new art. Includes writing by Darby Bannard and John Link. A rich, well designed site with many links to others.


From the Mayor's Doorstep by Piri Halasz. A monthly/bimonthly column of criticism and comment about the current art scene.

webmaster: Terry Fenton