Harold Rosenberg: A Critic’s Life

Jackson Arn at Art in America:

Yet the fact remains that Harold Rosenberg is to the intellectuals of midcentury Manhattan what Andrew McCarthy is to the Brat Pack of 1980s Hollywood—the most minor of the major, the one people may have heard of but couldn’t tell you much about. He wrote for Partisan ReviewCommentary, and the other august little magazines that flourished between the rise of the New Deal and the fraying of the New Left. At the time of his death, he’d been the New Yorker’s art critic for twelve years. He knew everyone, sat on all the panels, went to all the parties; he even had an archnemesis in the art critic Clement Greenberg. He proposed daring theories and coined arresting phrases, most of which have been banished to the dustier corners of the library. Still, one good biography is all it would take to get a comeback going.

Instead, he got Harold Rosenberg: A Critic’s Life. Debra Bricker Balken has dug the man up, only to bury him in sentences like “Rosenberg’s sense of ostracism affected him emotionally.”

more here.