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Richard Wollheim, 22 June 1995

Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society 
by Meyer Schapiro.
Braziller, 253 pp., £19.95, October 1994, 0 8076 1356 8
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... of painting by an accomplished artist who is also a first-rate writer.’ Anyone acquainted with Meyer Schapiro will be amused. For, whether or not this is a correct assessment of Fromentin as a critic (the essay that follows suggests some qualifications), applied to Schapiro himself, these words have the ring of ...

Meyer Schapiro’s Mousetrap

Gabriel Josipovici, 5 June 1980

Late Antique, Early Christian and Medieval Art: Selected Papers, Vol. 3 
by Meyer Schapiro.
Chatto, 414 pp., £20, April 1980, 0 7011 2514 4
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... I, on the other hand, find the woodcut utterly delightful and the Dürer a pompous bore. Meyer Schapiro is blessedly free of the prejudices of Panofsky and Gombrich. He can, of course, do the classic art-historical thing as well as anyone, but even in the most purely scholarly and erudite essays in this volume1 his warmth and catholicity shine ...

Relentless Intimacy

T.J. Clark: Cezanne’s Portraits, 25 January 2018

Cézanne Portraits 
National Portrait Gallery, London, until 11 February 2019Show More
Cézanne Portraits 
National Gallery of Art, Washington, 25 March 2018 to 1 July 2018Show More
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... as people, as individuals. But for most of the 20th century it was dogma. By the 1950s, when Meyer Schapiro wrote his great book about Cézanne, he knew that the judgment would be on readers’ minds: ‘It has been said that Cézanne painted the heads of his friends and family as if they were apples.’ And further on: Many writers have remarked on ...

Why all the hoopla?

Hal Foster: Frank Gehry, 23 August 2001

Frank Gehry: The Art of Architecture 
edited by Jean-Louis Cohen et al.
Abrams, 500 pp., £55, May 2001, 0 8109 6929 7
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... risk-taking and spectacle-effects. In ‘The Social Bases of Art’, an essay published in 1936, Meyer Schapiro argued that the Impressionist painter was the first artist to address the new modern world of speed and glitz. ‘For this individual,’ Schapiro wrote, ‘the world is a spectacle, a source of novel ...

Captain Swing

Eric Hobsbawm, 24 November 1994

The Duke Ellington Reader 
edited by Mark Tucker.
Oxford, 536 pp., £19.95, February 1994, 0 19 505410 5
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Swing Changes: Big-Band Jazz in New Deal America 
by David Stowe.
Harvard, 299 pp., £19.95, October 1994, 0 674 85825 5
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... though its greatest champion once signed a letter of protest in New Masses with Edmund Wilson, Meyer Schapiro and the Trillings, whom it if difficult to envisage tapping their feet to Count Basie.) The contribution of the Left was not only to discover talent, though nobody else took a serious interest in obscure – and, more important, non-commercial ...

Jews’ Harps

Gabriel Josipovici, 4 February 1982

Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse 
by T. Carmi.
Penguin, 608 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 14 042197 1
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... in the light of this book. It reinforces the insights of such scholars as Peter Brown and Meyer Schapiro, who have tried to draw us out of our Rome-centred, Classics-centred view of the past. It truly does what Eliot said every masterpiece did: alters, if ever so slightly, every single work in the ...

Preposterous Timing

Hal Foster: Medieval Modern Art, 8 November 2012

Medieval Modern: Art out of Time 
by Alexander Nagel.
Thames and Hudson, 312 pp., £29.95, November 2012, 978 0 500 23897 4
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Depositions: Scenes from the Late Medieval Church and the Modern Museum 
by Amy Knight Powell.
Zone, 369 pp., £24.95, May 2012, 978 1 935408 20 8
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... Worringer connected German Expressionism to the Northern Gothic tradition; between the wars, Meyer Schapiro moved easily between abstract painting and Romanesque sculpture; and after the Second World War, Leo Steinberg wrote with equal insight on 20th-century innovators like Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and Old Masters like ...


Frank Kermode, 22 May 1986

Pound, Yeats, Eliot and the Modernist Movement 
by C.K. Stead.
Macmillan, 393 pp., £27.50, March 1986, 0 333 37457 6
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The Myth of Modernism and 20th-century Literature 
by Bernard Bergonzi.
Harvester, 216 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 7108 1002 4
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The Innocent Eye: On Modern Literature and the Arts 
by Roger Shattuck.
Faber, 362 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 571 12071 7
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... some of the tendency to gradualism in the history of the arts which he dissects in an essay on Meyer Schapiro. What he says he would like is an innocent eye, no theoretical presuppositions to affect his vision of poem or painting. But even if his position in the academy allowed him to aspire to this theoretical virginity, he must know that it is ...

Picasso and Cubism

Gabriel Josipovici, 16 July 1981

Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective 
edited by William Rubin.
Thames and Hudson, 464 pp., £10.95, July 1980, 0 500 23310 1
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Picasso: His Life and Work 
by Roland Penrose.
Granada, 517 pp., £9.99, May 1981, 0 7139 1420 3
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Portrait of Picasso 
by Roland Penrose.
Thames and Hudson, 128 pp., £3.95, June 1981, 0 500 27226 3
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Viva Picasso: A Centennial Celebration, 1881-1981 
by Donald Duncan.
Allen Lane, 152 pp., £12.95, May 1981, 0 7139 1420 3
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Picasso: The Cubist Years, 1907-1916 
by Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet.
Thames and Hudson, 376 pp., £60, October 1979, 9780500091340
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Picasso’s Guernica: The Labyrinth of Vision 
by Frank Russell.
Thames and Hudson, 334 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 0 500 23298 9
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... the idea of Picasso to obscure their view of what was actually in front of them. Of course, as Meyer Schapiro once remarked, ‘to perceive the aims of the art of one’s own times and to judge them rightly is so unnatural as to constitute an act of genius,’* but Penrose was not writing in 1914 or even 1934, but in 1951. One might have expected ...

Strange Apprentice

T.J. Clark, 8 October 2020

... is what this loosening and restlessness do to our understanding of the scene. I do not think, pace Meyer Schapiro, that in the end the new handling is essentially a means of insisting on the ‘individuality’ of any one painter’s apprehension. Personal freedom is a given for Pissarro; but his anarchism does not seem to have been built around the idea ...

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