18 Facts About Clement Greenberg


Clement Greenberg, occasionally writing under the pseudonym K Hardesh, was an American essayist known mainly as an art critic closely associated with American modern art of the mid-20th century and a formalist aesthetician.


Clement Greenberg is best remembered for his association with the art movement abstract expressionism and the painter Jackson Pollock.


Clement Greenberg was born in the borough of the Bronx, NYC, in 1909.


Clement Greenberg's parents were middle-class Jewish immigrants, and he was the eldest of their three sons.


Since childhood, Greenberg sketched compulsively, until becoming a young adult, when he began to focus on literature.


Clement Greenberg married in 1934, had a son the next year, and was divorced the year after that.


In 1936, Clement Greenberg took a series of jobs with the federal government, from Civil Service Administration, to the Veterans' Administration, and finally to the Appraisers' Division of the Customs Service in 1937.


Clement Greenberg wrote several seminal essays that defined his views on art history in the 20th century.


Clement Greenberg became art critic for the Nation in 1942.


Clement Greenberg was associate editor of Commentary from 1945 until 1957.


Clement Greenberg praised similar movements abroad and, after the success of the Painters Eleven exhibition in 1956 with the American Abstract Artists at New York's Riverside Gallery, he travelled to Toronto to see the group's work in 1957.


Clement Greenberg was particularly impressed by the potential of painters William Ronald and Jack Bush, and later developed a close friendship with Bush.


Clement Greenberg saw Bush's post-Painters Eleven work as a clear manifestation of the shift from abstract expressionism to Color Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction, a shift he had called for in most of his critical writings of the period.


In 1968, Clement Greenberg delivered the inaugural John Power Memorial Lecture at the Power Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Sydney, Australia.


Clement Greenberg suggested this process attained a level of "purity" that would reveal the truthfulness of the canvas, and the two-dimensional aspects of the space.


Clement Greenberg coined the term Post-Painterly Abstraction to distinguish it from Abstract Expressionism, or Painterly Abstraction, as Clement Greenberg preferred to call it.


Clement Greenberg's annotated library is available at the Portland Art Museum's Crumpacker Family Library which is open to the public free of charge.


Clement Greenberg was portrayed by actor Jeffrey Tambor in the 2000 film Pollock, about the life of Jackson Pollock.