In this landmark work, Jed Perl captures the excitement of a generation of legendary artists–Jackson Pollack, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ellsworth Kelly among them–who came to New York, mingled in its lofts and bars, and revolutionized American art. In a continuously arresting narrative, Perl also portrays such less well known figures as the galvanic teacher Hans Hofmann, the lyric expressionist Joan Mitchell, and the adventuresome realist Fairfield Porter, as well the writers, critics, and patrons who rounded out the artists’world. Brilliantly describing the intellectual crosscurrents of the time as well as the genius of dozens of artists, New Art City is indispensable for lovers of modern art and culture.
"Exemplary....focuses not only upon the major figures of ascendant movements but also upon how a variety of independent-minded artists, energized by the vitality of the mid-century exchange of ideas, found individual means of expression."--The Washington Post Book World "The sort of grand marriage of criticism, history and biography that Edmund Wilson achieved in his finest books. . . . A thrilling achievement." --The Atlantic Monthly "Bound to stand as the definitive volume on this hectic and fertile period in American art for years to come."--Art News"Fascinating . . . by far the most thorough account of the 'triumph of American painting' that we have. . . . A splendid achievement and an exceptionally worthwhile read." --The Christian Science Monitor"Shows the incisiveness and pluck of George Bernard Shaw writing about music or Pauline Kael reviewing movies. . . . Opens onto new surprises at every turn."--San Francisco Chronicle"Few people write about art as beautifully, one might say as tenderly, as Jed Perl." --The Wall Street Journal