Evergreen Still Green as Ever
By: Steven Heller | January 4, 2010
In the mid-’60s (when I was barely a teen), the magazine I read most and most wanted to work for was Evergreen Review. Founded by the trailblazing Grove Press publisher Barney Rosset in 1957, Evergreen was a cultural trendsetter, introducing such authors as Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett, among others, to the United States.
The early issues were trade-paperback size. In the ’60s, Evergreen was transformed into a glossy magazine, at first designed by Roy Kuhlman, then Richard Hess, and next Ken Deardorf. (I got my wish in 1971, when as a 21-year-old, I was made art director when it was turned into a mass-market-sized paperback.)
Those magazine issues were amazing for their regular diet of photography, art, and illustration, including work by Chwast, Glaser, Sorel, Holland, Grossman, Blechman, and many more. A cover by George Grosz reintroduced the world to the late German master satirist, and a feature on Bolshevik posters launched a revival in the Soviet avant-garde.
Along with Ramparts (published in San Francisco), Evergreen was essential reading for the “new left,” but also for the burgeoning culturati. As the flagship of Grove Press, which had a controversial film division that released “I Am Curious Yellow” in the U.S., Evergreen published the most adventuresome content of any magazine. It folded in 1973 but was revived in 1998 as an online edition. (See here for an article in the current Evergreen by Francis Levy.)