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critics Robert Rosenblum

Robert Rosenblum


Robert Rosenblum's career as a critic, teacher and curator was defined by his insistence on challenging accepted norms of Modern art and its history. He began his writing career in Art News, Art International, and other similar publications. Rosenblum believed that Modernism had a much longer history than people assumed, and in offering this perspective, he significantly reordered the way in which most people studied art movements. Instead of examining and judging works of art within time-specific frameworks, Rosenblum tended to critique art regardless of its associated movement or place in history.

Key Ideas

Rosenblum identified the history of Modern art as dating back to the French, German and Danish painters (who worked mostly in the Neoclassical style) of the late 18th-century
Rosenblum considered "postmodernism" as an era in which people loved and consumed art on a scale never seen before in the U.S., yet appreciated it more as a luxury or trivial entertainment, rather than as something socially and culturally significant.
According to Rosenblum, the foundation of Abstract Expressionism was based on a mythology of total and apocalyptic devastation, which encouraged many artists to search for meaning in art and basic symbolism. Given this mythology that so heavily informed the AbEx movement, Rosenblum believed that contemporary artists were unable to achieve an equally poignant, personal sense of abstraction in their work.


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