Perl, Jed 1951-
Perl, Jed 1951-
PERSONAL: Born 1951; married Deborah Rosenthal (a painter); children: Nathan Perl-Rosenthal. Education: Columbia College, B.A., 1972; Brooklyn College, M.F.A., 1974.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Jennifer Lyons, Lyons & Pande International, LLC, 55 W. 116th St., Ste. 314, New York, NY 10026.
CAREER: Journalist and art critic. Lecturer at colleges and art schools, including University of Chicago, Princeton University, Harvard's Kennedy School, New York Studio School, Kansas City Art Institute, Stanford University, Cooper Union, Parson's School of Design, Philadelphia College, the Pratt Institute, and the New School for Social Research. Guest on News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and on Cable News Network (CNN).
AWARDS, HONORS: Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, 1994; Marian and Andrew Heiskell Visiting Critic and Journalist Award, American Academy in Rome, 2003.
Gallery Going: Four Seasons in the Art World, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (San Diego, CA), 1991.
Trevor Winkfield's Pageant, introduction by John Ashbery, Hard Press (West Stockbridge, MA), 1997.
Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2000.
New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century, Knopf (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to Man Ray, Aperture Foundation (New York, NY), 1988. Art critic, Art in America and Arts Magazine, during the 1970s; New Republic, art critic, 1994–. Contributing editor to Vogue, 1980s–94; columnist for Salmagundi; contributor to New Criterion. Contributor to periodicals, including Partisan Review and New York Times Book Review.
SIDELIGHTS: Jed Perl is a well-known art critic and columnist who has written several books on the subject of art and its place in society. Critics of Perl's work have often remarked on his ability to write with a style that is easy to understand for both people connected to the art world and those who only occasionally visit museums and galleries. In his first book, Paris without End: On French Art since World War I, Perl writes about post-1920 French painting. In Gallery Going: Four Seasons in the Art World, he chronicles the closing years of the 1980s, providing a detailed look at both lesser-known and better-known artists and their works during that time.
A Kirkus Reviews contributor described Perl's Paris without End, a collection of eleven essays, a "stimulating and valuable re-evaluation of post WW-I French painting." Roslyn Siegel noted in the New York Times Book Review that the main theme of Perl's book, that "Paris was a place, but also an idea," helps his "reevaluation of the relationship between abstract and representational art." Arthur C. Danto remarked in New Republic that, in a sense, Paris without End is a "tribute" to the members of the School of Paris, focusing on an image of that city that is no longer alive. In this regard, wrote Danto, "Perl writes as an elegiast of something shimmering and irrecoverable."
Gallery Going, Perl's next work, is a collection of essays and reviews published in various art journals and periodicals over a four-year period. In reviewing this book for the Washington Post Book World, Dore Ashton noted that Perl is in his element in essays that focus on "difficult issues raised by painters who cannot turn aside from the great and central tragedy of our era, the Holocaust." Ashton felt that while, in places, the book is lacking in depth because it only includes a sampling of reviews from four years, "when Perl focuses on what he feels deeply, he can be a thoughtful and compelling writer." Donna Seaman, in a review of Gallery Going for Booklist, noted that "Perl writes with the smooth confidence of a born opinion-crafter, drawing from a deep well of historical references and broad viewing experience."
Similar in its organizational approach to his earlier works, Perl's next book, Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis, is also a collection of various essays and reviews originally published in journals such as the Nation and the New Republic. Reviewing Eyewitness, Mario Naves commented in the Wall Street Journal that "few people write about art as beautifully [or] tenderly as Jed Perl." In addition to being a compilation, the book serves as a means to present "all the complications and contradictions of the art world," noted Naves, calling it "essential reading for anyone who cares about the cultural life of our time."
New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century is a look at how New York embraced the international art world in the mid twentieth-century. From Andy Warhol's pop art to Jackson Pollock's abstract expressionism, the author examines the social and cultural milieus that gave rise to these and a number of other noted artists of the era. Cheryl Ann Lajos, writing in the Library Journal, called the book "original, expansive, and generously illustrated." In a review in Booklist, Donna Seaman commended the author for the "freshness of his vision, his polychromatic prose, the reach of his analysis, and his reclamation of neglected artists." In his review for Commentary, Michael J. Lewis called New Art City "an epic treatment of New York's rise to the international capital of art during the post-World War II era."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Arts in America, May, 2003, "Marian and Andrew Heiskell Visiting Critic and Journalist Award," p. 166.
Booklist, May 1, 1991, Donna Seaman, review of Gallery Going: Four Seasons in the Art World, p. 1685; September 1, 2005, Donna Seaman, review of New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century, p. 40.
Commentary, January, 2006, Michael J. Lewis, review of New Art City, p. 80.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1988, review of Paris without End: On French Art since World War I, p. 1388.
Library Journal, August 1, 2005, Cheryl Ann Lajos, review of New Art City, p. 79.
New Republic, October 24, 1988, Arthur C. Danto, review of Paris without End, p. 44.
New York Times Book Review, April 23, 1989, Roslyn Siegel, review of Gallery Going, p. 21; June 23, 1991, Christine Pittel, review of Gallery Going, p. 23.
Publishers Weekly, March 15, 1991, Genevieve Stut-taford, review of Gallery Going, p. 50; February 21, 2000, review of Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis, p. 79.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 4, 1998, Alan G. Artner, review of Paris without End, p. 11.
Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2000, Mario Naves, "Looking at the Art, Stripping away the Hype," p. A20.
Washington Post Book World, June 2, 1991, Dore Ashton, "Up against the Wall," p. 9.
New Republic Onine, http://www.tnr.com/ (February 26, 2006), brief profile of author.
New School Web site,http://www.newschool.edu/ (February, 2006), faculty profile of author.