Irving Sandler brings to life the New York art world from the death of Jackson Pollock in 1956 to the emergence of Andy Warhol in 1962. The setting is downtown New York. The novel follows the careers and interactions of four artists of different generations and styles—two first-generation abstract expressionists and two younger painters. Other leading characters include an elder and younger critic, two art dealers, a curator, and a collector.
The novel portrays competition within the self and with others for artistic recognition, as well as the soul-searching suffering for one’s art. Connections are forged and betrayed. Whether relationships thrive or plummet, for business, pleasure or both, makes for an exciting, tough and dramatic world. Art theory and art history are interwoven throughout this crisp and sparkling narrative.
Irving Sandler, an art critic and historian, has surveyed American modernist and post-modernist art in four volumes, beginning with The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (1970) and ending with Art of the Postmodern Era from the 1960s to the Early 1990s (1996). He is also a former director of the Neuberger Museum, a former president of the American Section of the International Art Critic Association (AICA), and the founder of the not-for-profit Artists Space Gallery. In 2008, Sandler received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Art Criticism from the International Association of Art Critics.
From ARTnews: “‘The thread that runs through my writing is a concern for the intentions, visions, and experiences of artists,’ the art critic and historian Irving Sandler wrote in 2006. He was looking back on a career that tracked the art of half a century, from Abstract Expressionism to the constellation of styles and approaches that constitutes the art of the early 21st century. Sandler, who passed away earlier today at age 92, never stopped looking, and thinking.
The Philadelphia-born Sander started his career as an art critic in 1956, in the pages of ARTnews, where he became a regular reviewer. Thomas Hess was editor at the time. He went on to write reviews for the New York Post and Art in America.”
Tributes remembering the deeply inspired, influential and respected Irving Sandler:
The Art Newspaper: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/remembering-irving-sandler
Apollo Magazing: https://www.apollo-magazine.com/irving-sandler-obituary/
Roberta Smith ~ THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Best Art Books of 2018
‘GOODBYE TO TENTH STREET: A NOVEL’ By Irving Sandler (Pleasure Boat Studio). Anyone drawn to the postwar art scene that centered on Manhattan’s East 10th Street should read the last book of Mr. Sandler, the art historian and critic extraordinaire who died in June. He was there in the late 1950s and early ’60s taking notes while the Abstract Expressionists made history, and he became known for his meticulous accounts of their saga. But here he offers a roman à clef filled with the unverified gossip, overheard conversations, and rumors of nooners and backbiting that were unsuitable to fact-based history (though a few historical figures occupy the margins). The tale — from charged studio visits to nasty exchanges at the Cedar Bar — has its own sad, sordid, unsurprising truth.