OVERRIDE

The Painted Word

Tom Wolfe

Picador

"America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek) trains his satirical eye on Modern Art in this "masterpiece" (The Washington Post)

Wolfe's style has never been more dazzling, his wit never more keen. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. This is Tom Wolfe "at his most clever, amusing, and irreverent" (San Francisco Chronicle).

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One  The Apache Dance

ALL THE MAJOR MODERN MOVEMENTS EXCEPT FOR DE STIJL, Dada, Constructivism, and Surrealism began before the First World War, and yet they all seem to come out of the 1920s. Why? Because it was in the 1920s that Modern Art achieved social chic in Paris, London, Berlin, and New York. Smart people talked about it, wrote about it, enthused over it, and borrowed from it. Borrowed from it, as I say; Modern Art achieved the ultimate social acceptance: interior decorators did knock-offs of it in Belgravia and the sixteenth arrondissement.

Things like knock-off
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Painted Word

"If you have ever stared uncomprehendingly at an abstract painting that admired critics have said you ought to dig, take heart. Tom Wolfe . . . is on your side. The Painted Word may enrage you. It may confirm your darkest suspicions about Modern Art. In any case, it will amuse you."--New York Sunday News

"Tom Wolfe is a journalist who always manages to combine an encyclopedic store of inside knowledge with the obstinate detachment of a visitor from Mars, not to mention a brilliant style and incisive wit."--San Francsico Chronicle

"The Painted Word may well be Tom Wolfe's most successful piece of social criticism to date."--The New York Times

"The Painted Word is a masterpiece. No one in the art world . . . could fail to recognize its essential truth. I read it four times, each of them with mounting envy for Wolfe's eye, ear, and surgical skill."--The Washington Post

"His eye and ear for detailed observations are incomparable; and observation is to the satirist what bullets are to a gun."--The Boston Sunday Globe

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Tom Wolfe

  • Tom Wolfe is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. He lives in New York City.
  • Tom Wolfe Copyright Mark Seliger
    Tom Wolfe
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The Painted Word

Tom Wolfe

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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