Irving Sandler’s Goodbye by Karen Wilkin, The New Citerion

Karen Wilkin gives a perceptive, intelligent review of Goodbye to Tenth Street, assessing which characters could be an amalgamation of past infamous people in the art scene of the time, as well as noting details within the story’s relation to art theory and history through Sandler’s lively book, which she notes is mostly a fun read, and I have to agree… “…Goodbye to Tenth Street is a must for anyone interested in an art world very different from today’s. Sandler immerses us in a time when artists sought aesthetic excellence, intensity, and—above all—individuality, striving to charge their work with their entire being rather than “strategizing.” (Except for the novel’s venal Neil Johnson.) Recognition and sales were, obviously, desirable and welcome, but in contrast to the present day, aesthetic values, rather than monetary worth, were life-and-death matters, to be wrestled with in the studio and, elsewhere, to be argued about, challenged, fought over, and even died for. Sandler vividly recreates the atmosphere in which such beliefs flourished. For facts, The Triumph of American Painting and The New York School are still essential, along with his two volumes of memoirs, with their privileged information. But for sheer entertainment, go to Goodbye to Tenth Street.”