Barbara Rose

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Barbara Rose
Photo of Barbara Rose.jpg
Barbara Rose in 1982 by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Born
Barbara Ellen Rose

(1936-06-11)June 11, 1936
DiedDecember 25, 2020(2020-12-25) (aged 84)
EducationBarnard College
Columbia University
Occupation
  • Art historian
  • academic
  • filmmaker
Years active1963–2020
Spouse(s)
Richard Du Boff
(m. 1959; div. 1960)
(m. 2009⁠–⁠2020)

(m. 1961; div. 1969)

Jerry Leiber
Children2

Barbara Ellen Rose (June 11, 1936 – December 25, 2020) was an American art historian, art critic, curator and college professor. Rose's criticism focused on 20th-century American art, particularly minimalism and abstract expressionism, as well as Spanish art. "ABC Art", her influential 1965 essay,[1][2] defined and outlined the historical basis of minimalist art. She also wrote a widely used textbook, American Art Since 1900: A Critical History.

Early life and education[edit]

Barbara Ellen Rose was born on June 11, 1936,[3] in a Jewish family in Washington, D.C. to Lillian Rose (née Sand) and Ben Rose.[4] Her father owned a liquor store, and her mother was a homemaker.[5][6] She graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington D.C.[7]

At the age of 17, Rose enrolled at Smith College, but after two years transferred to Barnard College, where she received a B.A. in 1957.[8] She completed her graduate studies at Columbia University,[5][9] studying with Meyer Schapiro, Julius S. Held, and Rudolf Wittkower,[7] and started work on a PhD, but did not complete it.[10] She was eventually awarded a PhD in history of art by Columbia in 1984.[11] The university accepted "various books by Rose, published between 1970–1983" as her dissertation.[11][3][5]

In 1961, she received a Fulbright scholarship to visit Pamplona, Spain, which sparked a lasting interest in Spanish culture and art.[5][9] The cinematographer Michael Chapman introduced Rose to many New York artists, including Carl Andre and Frank Stella (to whom she was married 1961–69),[9][3] which gave her an insight into the New York art scene during the 1960s and 1970s.[12]

Career[edit]

Rose's first work of criticism was published in 1962.[13] She later noted that formalist art historian Michael Fried suggested she begin writing as a critic.[5] Rose is credited with popularizing the term Neo-Dada in the early 1960s;[14] Harrison notes that Rose's 1963 publication describing pop art as "neo-Dada" was her "entry into the field of contemporary American art criticism".[15] Rose soon argued that formalist criticism was inadequate to then-contemporary art. She observed in a 1966 article that formalism, while appropriate for analysis of Cubism, was not as useful as a critical lens on abstract expressionism and other movements of the later 20th century.[16] She wrote the textbook American Art Since 1900: A Critical History (1967), which became standard in campuses in the 1970s.[5][17] From 1971 until 1977, she was an art critic for the New York magazine. In 1972, she received a Front Page Award for her article "Artists with Convictions", which described the art program for inmates of the Manhattan House of Detention for Men.[18] She later worked as an instructor at a New York City correctional facility.[19] She served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Art (from 1988).[3]

From 1981 until 1985, Rose was a senior curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she curated shows including Miró in America and Fernand Léger and the Modern Spirit: An Avant-Garde Alternative to Non-Objective Art, both in 1982.[20] In 1983, she curated the first Lee Krasner retrospective, which exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.[9] Rose frequently wrote on Krasner's work, describing her as "one of the seminal forces among the Abstract Expressionists";[21] in a 1977 article entitled "Lee Krasner and the Origins of Abstract Expressionism", she argued that Krasner had been unjustly overlooked by critics.[22] Rose's books include over twenty monographs about artists;[12] many of these were also about women, including Helen Frankenthaler (1971), and she also wrote on Nancy Graves, Beverly Pepper and Niki de Saint Phalle.[23]

Rose taught art history at Sarah Lawrence College (from 1967) and was a visiting lecturer at Yale University (from 1970) and Hunter College (1987); she also taught at University of California, Irvine and University of California, San Diego, where she was Regent's Professor.[9][3]

She wrote North Star: Mark di Suvero (1977), a documentary film about the sculptor Mark di Suvero.[24][25]

"ABC Art"[edit]

Kazimir Malevich, Black Square (1915). In "ABC Art", Rose described Malevich as one of minimalism's progenitors.

In October 1965, Rose published the essay "ABC Art" in Art in America, in which she describes the fundamental characteristics of what was later known as minimal art. ("ABC art" was one of Rose's suggested names for the movement; she also suggested "reductive art" and "object sculpture".[26]) "ABC Art" considers the diverse roots of minimalism in the work of Kasimir Malevich and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the choreography of Merce Cunningham, the art criticism of Clement Greenberg, the philosophy of Wittgenstein, and the novels of Alain Robbe-Grillet.[27] She regarded Ad Reinhardt as a progenitor of minimalism, and not a minimalist proper.[28] In examining the historical roots of minimal art in 1960s America, Rose drew a distinction between Malevich's "search for the transcendental, universal, absolute" and Duchamp's "blanket denial of the existence of absolute values".[29] Rose further argued in "ABC Art" that minimalist sculpture was at its best when it was inhospitable to its audience: "difficult, hostile, awkward and oversize".[30]

Rose grouped some 1960s artists as closer to Malevich, some as closer to Duchamp, and some as between the two; she argued that the work of some minimalists constituted a "synthesis" of Malevich and Duchamp.[31] Closer to Malevich were Walter Darby Bannard, Larry Zox, Robert Huot, Lyman Kipp, Richard Tuttle, Jan Evans, Ronald Bladen, Anne Truitt. Closer to Duchamp were Richard Artschwager and Andy Warhol. Between Malevich and Duchamp she placed Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Dan Flavin. Her conclusion was that minimal art is both transcendental and negative:

The art I have been talking about is obviously a negative art of denial and renunciation. Such protracted asceticism is normally the activity of contemplatives or mystics...Like the mystic, in their work these artists deny the ego and the individual personality, seeking to evoke, it would seem, the semihypnotic state of blank unconsciousness.[32]

She also contrasted minimal art with Pop Art:

...if Pop Art is the reflection of our environment, perhaps the art I have been describing is its antidote, even if it is a hard one to swallow.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Rose was married four times to three men.[10] In 1959, she married Richard Du Boff, an economic historian;[5] the marriage ended in divorce after a year.[10] In October 1961 in London, Rose married the artist Frank Stella;[5][10] they had two children[6] and divorced in 1969.[3] In the mid-1980s, she was living in Italy and purchased a villa in Perugia.[3] She married the lyricist Jerry Leiber in Rome, and the two returned to the US to live in Greenwich Village. The marriage ended in divorce after ten years.[20][10] Rose remarried Du Boff in 2009.[7][5] She wrote a memoir, The Girl Who Loved Artists, which had yet to be published at the time of her death.[23]

Rose died from breast cancer on December 25, 2020, under hospice care in Concord, New Hampshire.[6][5][17]

Honors and awards[edit]

Selected works[edit]

Books[edit]

Authored
  • Rose, Barbara (1966). American Painting: The Twentieth Century. Geneva: Skira. OCLC 562069716.
  • Rose, Barbara (1967). American Art Since 1900: A Critical History. New York: F.A. Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-43900-2. OCLC 1014107611.[35][36]
  • Rose, Barbara (1969). The Golden Age of Dutch Painting. New York: F.A. Praeger. ISBN 978-0-269-67123-4. OCLC 741875627.
  • Rose, Barbara (1970). Claes Oldenburg. Museum of Modern Art. OCLC 605363873.[37]
  • Miró, Joan; Rose, Barbara; MacCandless, Judith; MacMillan, Duncan (1982). Miró in America. Houston, TX: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. OCLC 252002405.
  • Fabre, Gladys C.; Briot, Marie-Odile; Rose, Barbara (1982). Léger et l'esprit moderne: une alternative d'avant-garde à l'art non-objectif, 1918–1931 (Léger and the modern spirit: an avant-garde alternative to non-objective art, 1918–1931). Paris: Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris. OCLC 192111155.
  • Rose, Barbara (1983). Lee Krasner: A Retrospective. Houston: Museum of Fine Arts. ISBN 978-0-870-70415-4. OCLC 10527746.[38]
  • Rose, Barbara (1988). Autocritique: Essays on Art and Anti-Art, 1963–1987. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-1-555-84076-1. OCLC 958961360.
Edited
  • Experiments in Art and Technology (1972). Klüver, Billy; Martin, Julie; Rose, Barbara (eds.). Pavilion. New York: E.P. Dutton. OCLC 864533.
  • Reinhardt, Ad; Rose, Barbara (1975). Art As Art: The Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07670-9. OCLC 605712700.[39][40]

Articles[edit]

  • Rose, Barbara (October 1965). "ABC Art". Art in America. 53 (5).
  • Rose, Barbara (February 1993). "Is it art? Orlan and the transgressive act". Art in America. 81: 2.

Curated exhibitions[edit]

Films[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gruber, J. Richard (1999). Stackhouse. University Press of Mississippi. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-890021-07-8.
  2. ^ Atkins, Robert (1997). Artspeak (2nd ed.). Abbeville Publishing Group. p. 116. ISBN 0-7892-0365-0. OCLC 36528407.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Sorensen, Lee. "Rose, Barbara E." Dictionary of Art Historians. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Barbara E Rose, United States Census, 1940". FamilySearch.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Solomon, Deborah (December 27, 2020). "Barbara Rose, Critic and Historian of Modern Art, Dies at 84". The New York Times. 170 (58921). p. B8. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Barbara Rose Obituary (2020)". The Washington Post. December 27, 2020. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Barbara Rose blossoms in world of art". The Washington Times. May 18, 2002.
  8. ^ "Class of 1957". Barnard Alumnae. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Barbara Rose" (PDF). The Museum of Modern Art. 1983. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e Jordan, Kathryn (as told to) (April 1, 2019). "I Was Married Four Times — Once to a Famous Artist". The Cut. New York Magazine. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Rose, Barbara (1984). Selected Publications on Twentieth Century Art (PhD). Columbia University. OCLC 84093102. ProQuest 303285133. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Jocelyn Gibbs. "Finding aid for the Barbara Rose papers, 1940–1993 (bulk 1960–1985)". Online Archive of California. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  13. ^ Dagen, Philippe (December 29, 2020). "Barbara Rose, critique et historienne d'art, est morte". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  14. ^ "The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation". The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  15. ^ Harrison 2001, p. 116.
  16. ^ Tekiner 2006, pp. 38–39.
  17. ^ a b Greenberger, Alex (December 27, 2020). "Barbara Rose, Impassioned Critic Who Reshaped Art History, Has Died at 84". ARTnews. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Newswomen Name Winners of Awards". The New York Times. November 22, 1972. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  19. ^ Newman, Amy (2000). Challenging Art: Artforum 1962–1974. Soho Press Inc. p. 481. ISBN 1-56947-207-6.
  20. ^ a b Glueck, Grace (April 3, 1981). "Art People: The Talk of Houston". The New York Times. p. C21. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020.
  21. ^ Levin 2011, p. 399.
  22. ^ Levin 2011, pp. 409–410.
  23. ^ a b Wallace Ludel (December 28, 2020). "Art historian Barbara Rose—Minimalism cheerleader and champion of women artists—has died, aged 84". The Art Newspaper. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Cascone, Sarah (October 10, 2017). "Editors' Picks: 18 Things to See in New York This Week". Artnet. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  25. ^ North Star: Mark di Suvero (35 mm film print). Parott Productions. 1977. OCLC 56611375.
  26. ^ Strickland 1993, p. 17.
  27. ^ Smith, William S. (December 28, 2020). "More Is Less". ARTnews. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  28. ^ Strickland 1993, p. 22.
  29. ^ Motte, Warren F. (1999). Small Worlds: Minimalism in Contemporary French Literature. University of Nebraska Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8032-3202-0. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  30. ^ Ratcliff 1996, p. 269.
  31. ^ "Barbara Rose (1936–2020)". Artforum. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  32. ^ Gamwell, Lynn (2016). Mathematics and Art: A Cultural History. Princeton University Press. p. 442. ISBN 978-0-691-16528-8. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  33. ^ Fink, Robert (2005). Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice. University of California Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-520-24036-0.
  34. ^ "Programs: Awards for Distinction: Frank Jewett Mather Award". College Art Association of America (CAA). Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  35. ^ Sewell, David (June 1969). Art Journal. 28 (4): 448–452. doi:10.1080/00043249.1969.10793947. ISSN 0004-3249.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  36. ^ Verdier, Philippe (1969). Art Journal. 28 (4): 440. doi:10.2307/775326. JSTOR 775326.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  37. ^ Goldin, Diana; Shaw, Elizabeth (May 31, 1970). "Claes Oldenburg by Barbara Rose" (PDF). The Museum of Modern Art. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  38. ^ Hobbs, Robert (1987). "Lee Krasner: A Retrospective". Woman's Art Journal. 8 (1): 43. doi:10.2307/1358340. JSTOR 1358340.
  39. ^ Schjeldahl, Peter (February 15, 1976). "Art as Art". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  40. ^ Paskus, Benjamin G. (December 1976). Art Journal. 36 (2): 172–176. doi:10.1080/00043249.1977.10793348. ISSN 0004-3249.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  41. ^ Rose, Barbara (1970). Claes Oldenburg. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. OCLC 605363873.
  42. ^ a b Plagens, Peter (January 13, 1992). "Last-Minute Reprieve: Is abstract painting dead? Not if curator Barbara Rose can help it". Newsweek. 119 (2). pp. 62–63. ProQuest 1879105997.
  43. ^ Miró, Joan; Rose, Barbara; MacCandless, Judith; MacMillan, Duncan (1982). Miró in America. Houston, TX: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. OCLC 252002405.
  44. ^ Fabre, Gladys C.; Briot, Marie-Odile; Rose, Barbara (1982). Léger et l'esprit moderne: une alternative d'avant-garde à l'art non-objectif, 1918–1931 = Léger and the modern spirit : an avant-grade alternative to non objective art, 1918–1931. Paris: Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris. OCLC 192111155.
  45. ^ Rose, Barbara (1983). Lee Krasner: A Retrospective. Houston: Museum of Fine Arts. ISBN 978-0-870-70415-4. OCLC 10527746.
  46. ^ Herriman, Kat (as told to) (September 23, 2016). "Barbara Rose discusses "Painting After Postmodernism: Belgium – USA"". Artforum. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  47. ^ "FILM & TALK: American Art in the 1960s". Parrish Art Museum. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  48. ^ Arghyros, Nan (February 20, 1975). "Barbara Rose shows film at ICA". The Boston Globe. p. 20. ProQuest 655527185.
  49. ^ "The New York School (1972)". Royal Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  50. ^ "Art People". The New York Times. November 24, 1978.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]