PRINT September 1986

To describe the wonders . . .

THE FACT THAT ARTURO SCHWARZ, the Milan collector, gallerist, and notable art historian, had the opportunity at this year's Biennale to bring before the public a subject that has obsessed him for so long is an issue of simple justice. Schwarz is an expert on the subject of alchemy, not only on its history but also on the influence it has had on the development of art in the 20th century. It must be a surprise even for the connoisseur to see how pervasive the alchemic impulse has been. Schwarz includes a wide and deep spectrum of the alchemic in art, from, say, Francis Picabia, to Surrealism, to arte povera, even to the paintings of Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring. When we look at the exhibition we have the impression that this comprehensive tableau could go on and on, until every artist could qualify as being influenced by alchemy in one way or another. So the question becomes, What exactly

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