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The Triumph of Modernism


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About the Author

Hilton Kramer was co-editor and co-publisher of The New Criterion, which he founded in 1982. He had also been editor of Arts Magazine, art critic for The Nation, chief art critic for the New York Times, and art critic for the New York Observer. His other books include The Twilight of the Intellectuals, The Age of the Avant-Garde, and The Revenge of the Philistines. He died in 2012.


Bracing art criticism. . . . In his enlightening, stimulating, and uncompromising essays, Kramer accords art the serious and critical attention it deserves. -- Donna Seaman * Booklist *
Delicious jeremiads attacking the meretricious, fad-obsessed art world of today. . . . Mr. Kramer packs his reviews and essays with telling anecdotes. -- Stephen Goode * The Washington Times *
An event: The first collection of Hilton Kramer's art criticism to appear in twenty years displays his great command of subject and historical undergirding. Here is an incisive critique of the artists, critics, institutions, and movements that have formed the basis for modern art. * The New York Review Of Books *
Splendid collection . . . Kramer is luminously intelligent when he discusses the great modernists. -- Jeffrey Hart * The American Conservative *
Arresting and perceptive judgments displaying Kramer's Modernist tastes. * The New York Times *
Kramer's book is erudite, principled, and well written. . . . This book would be especially valuable for anyone conducting a course in either aesthetics or art criticism . . . it should be on the 'must read' list for every museum director. -- Marie L. Meegan * Naea News *
Everything Hilton Kramer writes is marked by his bracing intelligence and penetrating judgment. No one could doubt his distinction as an art critic-but he raises broad social and cultural issues too, and fearlessly confronts. -- John Gross
A principled and discriminating champion of modern art. His hallmark as a critic is a scrupulous, often exquisite, concern for the aesthetic primacy of the object itself-that is, for the formal properties of a work of art-and secondarily for its place within the art of its time. -- Michael J. Lewis
Consistently a pleasure to read . . . faithful to the tradition of high intellectuality which flourished in mid-century America. -- Kenneth Minogue * Times Literary Supplement *
A vigorous intellect . . . broad taste and erudition. * Academic Questions *
Kramer has a gift for writing about the history of ideas . . . It is when he turns to matters of art and aesthetics that his strengths as a thinker come most fully into play. Though a host of his ideological enemies have branded him a 'reactionary elitist' for his belief in objective aesthetic standards, Kramer is no Philistine. After half a century, he retains a qualified but genuine love for the achievements of modernism in art. -- Gregory Wolfe * First Things *
More than any other critic of our time-more energetically, more relentlessly, more courageously-Hilton Kramer has stood out against the degradation of modernism in the arts and the symbiotic degradation of liberalism in politics and culture. -- Norman Podhoretz
As sharp as a wasp's stinger. -- George Scialabba * Boston Review *

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