6.15.12 Goldin, Amy. Amy Goldin: Art in a Hairshirt; Art Criticism, 1964‚ 1978. Hard Pr. 2012. 220p. ed. by Robert Kushner. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781555953423. pap. $19.95. FINE ARTS
A highly influential art critic during the 1960s and 1970s, Goldin has seen her legacy dim somewhat over the past three decades, something this collection, the first ever of her writings, seeks to address. Goldin’s purview was remarkably broad; this book, edited by artist Kusher (a founding member of the Pattern and Decoration movement), includes essays on the early 20th-century avant-garde, emerging art in New York, the politics of museum exhibition display, and the decorative arts. It was her writings on the latter for which she was most well known; Goldin saw decoration, as expressed in such disparate sources as Islamic embroidery and late Matisse, as a refreshing alternative to the stultifying formalism proscribed by high modernist critics.
Verdict With her sharp observational skills and witty, accessible prose, Goldin provides essays that will appeal to those with an enthusiasm for the rich field of 1960s and 1970s American art criticism, as well as those interested in the Western reception of the Islamic decorative arts.‚ Jonathan Patkowski, CUNY Grad Ctr.