Mathew Abbott (ed.), Michael Fried and Philosophy, Routledge, 2018, 267 pp., $140.00, ISBN 9781138679801.
Reviewed by Daniel Herwitz, University of Michigan
This is a superb set of essays on the writing of Michael Fried. If the book gives rise to worries at the core of its formation -- something I will discuss at the end of this review -- these do not detract from its excellence. Every essay is lucid, scholarly, meticulously crafted, detailed and acute in a way worthy of Fried's virtuoso and philosophically subtle approach to the history of art. His pathbreaking work over half a century raises questions about the very nature of the medium of art and its tenebrous, shifting character, about the relation between "theater" and absorption in painting and more recently, photography, about the question of what authorizes a moral voice in art criticism, especially about modernism and minimalism, and about the dovetailing of art history with philosophy.