Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication Date: March 2012
Categories: Personal Memoir
In 1955, Jenny Van Horne was a 21-year-old, naïve Bennington College graduate on her own for the first time in New York City when she met 46-year-old Clement Greenberg who, she is told, is “the most famous, the most important, art critic in the world” and soon finds herself swept into his world and the heady company of Hans Hofmann, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, David Smith, Helen Frankenthaler, among others. Seven months later, as a new bride, Jenny and Clem spend the summer in East Hampton near Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, and she feels even more keenly like an interloper in the inner circle of the art scene. A woman disowned by her anti-Semitic family for marrying a Jew, she would develop a deep, loving bond with Clem that would remain strong through years of an open marriage and separate residences.
This book had lovely moments but the subject matter was not something that I found myself incredibly interested in.
The courtship between Janice and Clem Greenberg was the section I enjoyed reading the most. They were 20 years apart in age and miles apart in experience. Janice's family was less than thrilled about their daughter marrying an older, Jewish man.
Towards the middle of this book I found myself skimming. The author details her thoughts on a smattering of artistic couples/individuals. If you have an interest in the art world of the 50's and 60's this could be amusing. Unfortunately, I rarely recognized the names. A better explanation of who these people were would have given the book a big boost.
A Complicated Marriage did pick up some steam towards the end. Janice and Clem had an open marriage that was intriguing to read about. The most gratifying? Reading about how Janice came into her own.
While well written, and full of information, this book didn't speak to me as a reader.
JANICE VAN HORNE was born in New York City and raised in the suburb of Rye. She graduated from Bennington College in 1955 and moved to New York where she met and married the well-known art writer, Clement Greenberg, in 1956. After their daughter was born, Janice began her career path in the 1960s as an actress, performing with a multitude of the OOB theaters and performance groups of that time, and studying with the renowned Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. In 1974 she co-founded and was editor-in-chief of the successful Madison Avenue Magazine. Later, in the 1980s, she returned to the theater, this time as a playwright. Her work has been seen in many productions, primarily in Los Angeles and New York.
To visit the other stops on this tour please visit TLC Book Tours