Janice Van Horne

Janice Van Horne


My life with Clement Greenberg

Now in paperback and e-book

A compelling look into Janice Van Horne's life with legendary art critic Clement Greenberg

In 1955, Janice Van Horne was a 21-year-old, na•ve Bennington College graduate on her own for the first time in New York City. At a party, she meets 46-year-old Clement Greenberg who, she is told, is "the most famous, the most important, art critic in the world!" Knowing nothing about art, she soon finds herself swept into Clem's world and the heady company of Hans Hofmann, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, David Smith, and Helen Frankenthaler, among others. Seven months later, as a new bride, Jenny and Clem spend the summer in East Hampton near Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, and she feels even more keenly like an interloper in the inner circle of the art scene. Disowned by her anti-Semitic family for marrying a Jew, her deep, loving bond with Clem would remain strong through many years, even as their relationship evolves into an open marriage.

Jenny embodies the pivotal changes of each passing decade as she searches for worlds of her own. She moves from the 1950s tradition of wife and mother as she dives into psychoanalysis, the theater world of OOB and the Actors' Studio, and success in business. Written with humor and grace, A Complicated Marriage provides an intimate and honest view of her time. A Complicated Marriage demythologizes the art scene and its icons, and redefines the meaning of a "good marriage."

Excerpt from the book:

"A man enters. He is with a small frenetic woman carrying a small frenetic dog. A dachshund, not a breed the girl fancies. The couple, she assumes they are man and wife, are of an age-old, at least in their forties, maybe older. The dog is what he is. Not long after they arrive, she is startled to see that the man has sat down next to her. As she turns and looks at him there on that paisleyed couch, she falls into the rest of her life.
  That is how I envision the party where I met Clem. Those are the images, old and familiar, that have taken root in me over the years. Yet as familiar as the images are, there always seems to be something "other" about them. After all, those two could be any girl and any man meeting at a party. A random collision. All so ordinary. Isn't that how so many people first meet? But of course it wasn't ordinary at all, because the images were of me, me and Clem."


For more about the book and author, visit http://www.acomplicatedmarriage.com/