Irving Sandler, an art critic and historian "who drew on his extensive relationships with living artists to compile authoritative histories of Abstract Expressionism and the artistic movements that followed," died June 2, the New York Times reported. He was 92. Sandler "came to know the principal figures in the art world of the time and eventually spent long hours interviewing them in their studios, getting them to think out loud about their work."
His "relentless explorations" led him to write The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (1970). He followed up with three volumes that traced the history of contemporary American art: The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties (1978), American Art of the 1960s (1988) and Art of the Postmodern Era: From the Late 1960s to the Early 1990s (1996). He later revisited his first work with Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience: A Reevaluation (2009)
Sandler also wrote two memoirs, A Sweeper-Up After Artists (2003) and Swept Up by Art: An Art Critic in the Post-Avant-Garde Era (2015). He received a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Art Critics in 2008. His first novel, Goodbye to Tenth Street, "set in the art world of the 1950s and '60s," will be published in the fall by Pleasure Boat Studio.