Art: The State of Painting

Artists and critics alike have long accused Manhattan's mighty Metropolitan Museum of slighting contemporary U.S. art. This week the Met atoned for its former coolness with a show that surveyed the field exhaustively, and exhaustingly as well. No less than 6,248 painters had submitted works for the exhibition. To get the widest possible spread of work and judgment, the Met had appointed regional juries in Dallas, Santa Barbara, Richmond, Chicago and Manhattan. The regional juries rejected all but 761; then a national jury cut the total down to 307—more than enough to constitute a full report on the state of...

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