Art: Shout in the Dark

In season, Manhattan averages at least one first-rate art show (as against dozens of dull ones) every week. Last week's most exciting show fell to the Kootz Gallery, which hung ten weird canvases by a controversial Frenchman named Georges Mathieu. The exhibition was almost bound to draw as many boos as bouquets, but none could deny its forcefulness.

The hit of the show, in fact, is rather like a hit on the head. The canvas, a coal-black rectangle all of 13½ feet wide, is decorated with a smeary white explosion centering on what looks like a tangle of crimson worms. That...

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