The papers of Piri Halasz are dated 1966-2009, and measure 1.8 linear feet. The collection consists of correspondence with Clement Greenberg and a number of well-known artists, manuscripts of articles, complete and partial drafts and transcripts of lectures and talks, interview transcripts, exhibition reviews, research, biographical material, photographs and printed material documenting her activities as an art critic, writer and curator. An unprocessed addition donated in 2017 includes biographical material, writings, 19 audio cassette tapes of interviews with various artists, curators, and critics, and two CDs containing images related to her lectures.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Piri Halasz are dated 1966-2009, and measure 1.8 linear feet. Correspondence with Clement Greenberg and a number of well-known artists, manuscripts of articles, drafts and transcripts of lectures and talks, interview transcripts, exhibition reviews, research, biographical material, photographs and printed material documenting her activities as an art critic, writer and curator. An unprocessed addition donated in 2017 includes biographical material, writings, 19 audio cassette tapes of interviews with various artists, curators, and critics, and two CDs containing images related to her lectures.
The series titled "Greenbergiana" contains various materials related to Greenberg, including an interview Halasz conducted with Greenberg in 1991, a questionnaire filled out by artist Pat Lipsky Sutton concerning Greenberg's ideas about her work, and items concerning his death and memorial services.
Correspondence contains letters from Anthony Caro, Helen Frankenthaler, Clement Greenberg, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Anne Truitt, and others. There is a folder of greeting cards, some with original artwork, from artists of her acquaintance. Also found is correspondence with publishers about articles she submitted. Photographs are of Halasz and colleagues.
Writings include drafts of published and unpublished articles about Pablo Picasso, Ad Reinhardt, Abraham Rattner, Jennings Tofel, Larry Poons, Stanley William Hayter, Morris Louis, Manhattan museums, Randy Bloom and other subjects. There are transcripts of lectures and talks given by Halasz, and transcripts of interviews she conducted with Stanley William Hayter and Randy Bloom.
"A Year in the Life of Present Modernism," an exhibition curated by Halasz, was held in 1997-1998 at the Tribes Gallery, New York City. Documentation includes printed material, photographs, and biographical information about Halasz and participating artists.
The collection is arranged as 4 series:
Series 1: "Greenbergiana," 1989-1996(Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1969-2007 (Box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)
Series 3: Writings and Related Materials, 1980-2009 (Boxes 1-2; 0.6 linear ft.)
Series 4: "A Year in the Life of Present Modernism," 1996-1998 (Box 2; 1 folder)
Series 5: Unprocessed Addition, 1966-2005 (Box 3)
Piri Halasz (b. 1935) is an art critic, writer, lecturer, teacher, curator and blogger who focuses on the New York art scene and politics from the 1940s to the present. She corresponded with a number of well-known artists; her long-standing association with Clement Greenberg is represented in her correspondence, articles and interviews.
Halasz, a native New Yorker, attended Barnard College where she majored in English literature. After her graduation in 1956, Halasz worked at Time magazine for six years as a researcher, primarily in business news, before being promoted to writer. For the next six years, she wrote articles covering a range of subjects including obituaries, celebrities, books, current trends and world affairs. Her 1966 cover story for Time , "Swinging London," was a cultural snapshot of mid-1960s London that resulted in an invitation to write A Swinger's Guide to London. Published by Coward McCann in 1967, it is scheduled for republication in 2010 as part of the Authors Guild "Back in Print" program.
In 1967 Halasz was assigned to write the art page of Time. Her 1969 article about Helen Frankenthaler attracted the attention of Clement Greenberg and they became close friends. Greenberg encouraged her to leave Time, which she did in 1969.
She returned to Columbia in 1974 to pursue graduate studies in art history and obtained her PhD in 1982; a substantial section of Halasz's dissertation was devoted to Greenberg's philosophy. Halasz has since pursued a career as an art critic, writer, lecturer, teacher, curator and blogger. In 1996 she launched "From the Mayor's Doorstep," an online column of art criticism and politics which became a blog in 2010.
Halasz has taught at Columbia University, Hunter College, C. W. Post Center Long Island University, Molloy College, and Bethany College. She has published articles, primarily on art, in The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Arts Magazine, Art in America, ARTnews and NYArts.
Her self-published book, A Memoir of Creativity: Abstract Painting, Politics and the Media, 1958-2008 (iUniverse, 2009), is an insider's view of the publishing industry, the New York art scene and an explication of her theory of "multi-referential imagery. This theory posits that abstract painting refers to imagery that is unconsciously significant to the artist which then triggers recognition in the viewer.
Ms. Halasz lives and works in New York City.
Donated 2010 and 2017 by Piri Halasz.
Use of original material requires an appointment.
The Piri Halasz papers papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
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