new-york

John Walker, Tim Scott, Isaac Witkin, and recent acquisitions at the Museum of Modern Art

Reese Palley, Lawrence Rubin, Elkon Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art

Recent English art, when shown in New York, has too often been found short on toughness or evidencing a softened interpretation of American idioms. Behind these complaints is the idea that it suffers from what has been called (in this journal) European “humanizing qualities” irreconcilable with the sturdy primitivism indigenous to the American tradition. The problem with this point of view is that what might be accepted as a descriptive statement (that differences of nationality and tradition do affect art) is frequently assumed to be a value judgment (that this European “sensibility” inevitably produces a weakening of style). Since the few examples of English art seen this season have, unfortunately, given credence to this attitude, strong shows by three young English artists are therefore especially welcome in demonstrating (each in their different ways) how a more complex and allusive

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