PRINT January 1970

Notes on American Painting of the Sixties

THERE WAS A LOT OF PAINTING done in the sixties. No review could describe and evaluate all of it and it is unlikely that any art writer would want to try. The first thing to do is to select the work, and usually we play the part of history, try to pick out, at a short distance in time, art of high quality, art which will last. Give or take a few lapses, “history” is the most convincing critic, and most art writers try to stand by her side. But how does one know what is good of recent art? If you put it straight to them most members of the art public would quickly answer that there is no sure clue or giveaway. Outlines and systems for art quality crumble as the changing tides wash them away. The only “sure thing” is a good eye. But most art writers do not have a good eye, as any history of art criticism will reveal, and they cast about for the very clues to art quality they would be the

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