Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018 (Paperback)
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Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light collects 100 writings from 1988-2018—some long, some short—that taken together form a group portrait of many of the world’s most significant and interesting artists.
Introduction by Jarrett Earnest
From Pablo Picasso to Cindy Sherman, Old Masters to contemporary masters, paintings to comix, and saints to charlatans, art critic Peter Schjeldahl ranges widely through the diverse and confusing art world, an expert guide to a dazzling scene. No other writer enhances the reader’s experience of art in precise, jargon-free prose as Schjeldahl does. His reviews are more essay than criticism, and he offers engaging and informative accounts of artists and their work. For more than three decades, he has written about art with Emersonian openness and clarity.
A fresh perspective, an unexpected connection, a lucid gloss on a big idea awaits the reader on every page of this big, absorbing, buzzing book.
“Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light is the apex of artistic criticism and commentary.” —Steve Martin
“The great New Yorker art critic writes like an angel about everyone from Vermeer to Picasso, Donatello to Andy Warhol, in beautiful, enjoyable, accessible essays across 30 years.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Peter Schjeldahl was the art critic for The New Yorker for 24 years until his death in 2022. He was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. Prior to that, he wrote art criticism for Seven Days and the Village Voice. In 2019, Abrams published his Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light: 100 Art Writings, 1988-2018, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Jarrett Earnest is a writer and curator, and the author of What it Means to Write About Art: Interviews with Art Critics (2018). He lives in New York City.
“Peter Schjeldahl is a great artist. . . . His specialty is the searching, summative essay of a few pages on a single artist. . . I know that art is only a small part of living, but it’s also true that there are people whose makeshift faith lies in the best things human beings have made. Schjeldahl grants those artifacts a corresponding dignity, with all the meaning we knew they had but could not describe ourselves. It’s astonishing; it astonishes.”
— Charles Finch
“This is a rapturous read for art lovers and all who appreciate dynamic critical essays.”
“Bruce is no longer The Boss; Peter Schjeldahl is! Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light is the apex of artistic criticism and commentary.”
— Steve Martin
“The great New Yorker art critic writes like an angel about everyone from Vermeer to Picasso, Donatello to Andy Warhol, in beautiful, enjoyable, accessible essays across 30 years.”
— Philadelphia Inquirer