When you don't like something the words come more readily.
1991 Aged 82, on the relative ease of negative criticism over positive. In the NewYork Times, 3 Oct.
Realistic, naturalistic art had dissembled the medium, using art to conceal art; Modernism used art to call attention to art.Clement Greenberg
It has become apparent that art can have a startling impact without really being or saying anything startling or new. The character itself of being startling, spectacular, or upsetting has become conventionalized, part of safe good taste.Clement Greenberg
The main trouble with avant-garde art and literature, from the point of view of fascists and Stalinists, is not that they are too critical, but that they are too "innocent," that it is too difficult to inject effective propaganda, that kitsch is more pliable to this end.Clement Greenberg
Once efficiency is universally accepted as a rule, it becomes an inner compulsion and weighs like a sense of sin, simply because no one can ever be efficient enough, just as no one can ever be virtuous enough. And this new sense of sin only contributes further to the enervation of leisure, for the rich as well as the poor. The difficulty of carrying on a leisure-oriented tradition of culture in a work-oriented society is enough in itself to keep the present crisis in our culture unresolved.Clement Greenberg
Complete honesty has nothing to do with "purity" or naivety. The full truth is unattainable to naivety, and the completely honest artist is not pure in heart.Clement Greenberg
The paradox in the evolution of French painting from Courbet to Cézanne is how it was brought to the verge of abstraction in and by its very effort to transcribe visual appearance with ever greater fidelity.Clement Greenberg
A large picture can give us images of things, but a relatively small one can best re-create the instantaneous unity of nature as a view the unity of which the eyes take in at a single glance.Clement Greenberg
For every good art critic there may be ten great artists.Clement Greenberg