Art: Presto the Pendulum

The shadowy hush of a Manhattan gallery was shattered last week by an exhibition of paintings as bright and loud as taxis in a traffic jam. They represented the latest phase in the work of a small, dark, earnest artist named Gregorio Prestopino (his friends call him Presto), who swings like a slow pendulum between abstraction and realism.

Presto was still painting trucks, trains, and street scenes dominated by grinning workmen, but now he had taken to stretching or crumpling men and machines alike to fit the feverish geometry of his pictures, and smearing them with yellow, pink, orange and icy green....

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