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Piri Halasz papers, circa 1950-2017

Biographical Note

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 was republished 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.