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LONDON CALLING: THE SIXTIES ART SCENE IN LONDON

A WAVE OF INFATUATION for the 1960s has lately passed through the art institutions of London. Since the Royal Academy staged its sugar-coated extravaganza “The Pop Art Show,” in 1991, three more major exhibitions have centered on the decade. With one exception, these shows have strained to advance the obvious proposition that the legacy of the period lives on in the art of the present, and have succumbed to a romance of happier times implicit in that impulse. Paradoxically, throughout Dr. David Mellor’s “The Sixties Art Scene in London,” currently at the City of London’s Barbican Art Gallery1 the only one of these shows that seems to live entirely in and for its chronological span of 1956 to 1969—the visitor finds unannounced but far more arresting foreshadowings of recent practice.

One such moment, in the domain of Pop, arrives with the paintings of Pauline Boty, whose entirely youthful

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