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Blake Stimson publishes “John Berger, Michael Fried and Contemporary Art” in

berger, fried

John Berger and Michael Fried emerged as forceful critics alongside, and largely against, the new form of art that we now call “contemporary.” To fully appreciate what was and continues to be at stake in the distinction between their competing critical arguments at the time of Fried’s January 1962 review of Berger’s 1960 book Permanent Red, we need to understand all three of our terms—Berger, Fried and contemporary art—in relation to the ruins of modern art atop of which each staked its claim for the future.1 By considering each account of modern art’s failure as a different possible starting point for what art might have become—in Berger’s and Fried’s cases—and did become—in the case of contemporary art—we can develop a critical register of the contradictions that produced the art-historical present we now have and consider what sort of resolution to those contradictions we might want from art moving forward.

Blake Stimson  |  John Berger, Michael Fried and Contemporary Art

Blake Stimson John Berger, Michael Fried and Contemporary Art