Author(s): Irving Sandler
Fiction. Art. Sandler's novel 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.
"A lively novel of the Abstract Expressionist art scene that is everything you'd expect from critic Irving Sandler, who seemingly befriended every painter, writer and dealer in 1950s New York...As a critic for Art News and the New York Post, he profiled so many notables that Frank O'Hara called him a 'balayeur des artistes' (or 'sweeper-up after artists,' a phrase Sandler borrowed for the title of his memoirs). His novel is as lively an account of its milieu as you'd expect from its famously gregarious author...We begin in 1963, just as kitschy, frothy Pop is replacing Abstract Expressionism as America's definitive art movement...full of drama and intrigue and barely disguised versions of his friends and enemies."--Jackson Arn, The Wall Street Journal
"If Irving Sandler (1925-2018) had been Japanese, he would have been declared by his people a 'Living National Treasure.' From the 1950s to his death, he was a crucial figure in the evolving story of American vanguard painting and sculpture: a friend of artists and frequent studio visitor, director and founder of alternative galleries, art critic, professor of art history, museum director, and, above all, witness and chronicler of the changing desiderata of the moment...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.)...aesthetic values...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."--Karen Wilkin, New Criterion
"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."--Roberta Smith, The New York Times
"Showcasing Irving Sandler's impressive narrative driven storytelling talents as a novelist, GOODBYE TO TENTH STREET is an inherently fascinating and skillfully presented read that ably conjures up a kind of 'window on the past,' making it very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Literary Fiction collections."--Midwest Review