Harold Rosenberg was one of the two giants of American art criticism in the middle of the 20th C. Rosenberg’s The Tradition of the New (1959) is a must-read for any lover of Abstract Expressionism — he called it “Action Painting” — and it was published the same year British critic Herbert Read labeled Rosenberg as “the Apollinaire of Action Painting.”
Rosenberg’s art criticism often merged politics and arts, and he is most often associated with artist Willem de Kooning, who he championed.
It should be noted that The Tradition of the New doesn’t only concern itself with visual art and it easily embraces poetry, politics and pop culture to give a whole picture of the culture industry of the period.
One of the most beautiful elements of this book is it’s title. New, by then, had become part and parcel of the marketing of America itself. [BUY]