Art: Out of the Wastebasket

Melancholia, in a Swamp looked little different from dozens of other muzzy abstractions. When Sidney Key, the curator of the Toronto Art Gallery, received it in the mail last month, along with a request for some "constructive criticism," he drafted a tactful reply. "You are considerably interested," he wrote Robert Lealess of Vancouver, "in a variety of effects that can be arrived at through experimental use of your materials, and you seem to be aware of the accidental effects that can result from lines, calligraphy, blots and the use of a spray gun."

In Vancouver, 17-year-old Robert Lealess read Curator Key's...

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