The Painted Word.

“Aesthetics is for the artists as ornithology is for the birds”: First edition of Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word; Inscribed by him

The Painted Word.

WOLFE, Tom.

$450.00

Item Number: 125290

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1975.

First edition of Wolfe’s work of art criticism. Octavo, original half cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Elizabeth Bredrup! a deep bow from Tom Wolfe.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket illustration by Martim Avillez. Jacket design by Sheila Berger.

The Painted Word charts the erratic course of the social history of Modern Art from its beginnings in revolution - a revolution against literary content in art - to its present state, in which is has become, quite unconsciously, a parody of itself, obsessedly devoted to the pronouncements of certain guru-critics, to the point where it has become as literary, as academic, as mannered, as clubby, as the salon painting against which it first rebelled. Here, Wolfe summarizes his thoughts on the history, or devolution, of art: "In the beginning we got rid of nineteenth-century storybook realism. Then we got rid of representational objects. Then we got rid of the third dimension altogether and got really flat (Abstract Expressionism). Then we got rid of airiness, brushstrokes, most of the paint, and the last viruses of drawing and complicated designs."

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