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PRINT February 1992

A TIME TO CHOOSE

HAS THE IDEA OF “History” really imploded, or has it simply taken new forms, like a natural species mutating for survival? In the art realm this question is currently reflected in matters of style.

The spate of abstract painting seen in New York this fall was largely created by young artists who do not directly remember either the single-minded intensity of Abstract Expressionism or, when it came, the emphatic consensus of agreement that the movement was over. Somehow the style still seems to them a viable option (though only one of many), with or without the heavy baggage of the sublime.1 One wonders, however, if this is not a somewhat unconsidered development. Even today, artists wishing to work in the fashion of one or two generations ago are usually expected to ground their practice in one historical stance or another. An artist still working out of an essentially Modernist approach,

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