Art: Say It with Slabs

Despite all the current pother about the mechanics of painting, there are actually so few ways of putting color on canvas that abstractionists get grey trying to think up new tricks. Last week artists and camp followers were flocking into a Manhattan gallery to pay homage to a stranger who had succeeded, a husky Parisian named Nicolas de Staël.* Artist de Staël quickly explained that he is not so much concerned with abstraction for its own sake as with the expression of moods aroused in him by nature. Said he: "I am trying to say what I have to say...

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