To the Editors:
In his letter to the editors about Fairfield Porter (September, 1983), Clement Greenberg denies that there was ever a meeting between himself and Porter at Willem de Kooning’s studio, at which Greenberg told de Kooning “You can’t paint figuratively today.” There are several problems with his denial. Porter and de Kooning both remembered the incident: it is hard to imagine them both making it up. Also, Porter’s account of the incident, which was by no means his only allusion to it, was published in 1972; it is strange that Greenberg, to whom the matter is not “trivial,” should have waited eleven years, and until after Porter was dead, to make a public denial; and stranger still that, when doing so, he should have appended two paragraphs of slurs and totally unsubstantiated allegations, descending to gibberish and amounting to character assassination—the sort of thing that happens when dissenting intellectuals...

 
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