Seventy-five of Peter Schjeldahl's engaging pieces on art from The New Yorker, published together for the first time.Distinguished critic at The New Yorker since 1998, Peter Schjeldahl has been described as America's most influential writer on art. Blessed with an unerring eye, he tackles a myriad of subjects with wit, poetry, and perspicacity, examining and questioning the art before him while reveling in the power and beauty of language. His writing springs from a desire to be understood by all readers, and a determination to help them engage with art of every kind.
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Peter Schjeldahl is the author of numerous books of poems and criticism and has taught at Harvard University. He lives in New York.From Publishers Weekly:
In 75 exuberant essays written for the New Yorker during the past 10 years, art critic Schjeldahl covers works from antiquity to the present. Many of his longtime favorite artists, including Fra Angelico, Manet, Eakins, Calder and Brice Marden, come in for praise. But one of Schjeldahl's virtues is that he can change his mind, as he does in enthusiastic reappraisals of Tintoretto, Chardin, Winslow Homer, John Currin and Christo's The Gates. He scolds connoisseurs who turn up their noses at shows like the Guggenheim's 1900: Art at the Crossroads, which consisted of paintings that were too popular for sober-sided intellectuals. In Varieties of Museum Experience, he offers a trenchant critique of various types of museums and praises Munich's new Pinakothek der Moderne, which offers a treat rather than a treatment. Controversy, like that surrounding the 1999 show Sensation at the Brooklyn Museum, delights him, and he is not afraid to be charmed by art that is out of fashion, such as the Victorian Fairy Painting exhibit at the Frick in 1998. We need to recover the pleasure principle in our experience of art and in our public talk about it, Schjeldahl says. (May 27)
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