Art: Apes Never Improve

Oxford's Sir Kenneth Clark respects and admires the faceless art of abstract expressionism, but he does not think it will be around forever. At Wellesley last week, he prophesied: "The imitation of external reality is a fundamental human instinct which is bound to reassert itself." To prove his point. Sir Kenneth talked about two kinds of painters—apes and children—whom the crudest of critics like to lump with the abstract expressionists.

"Apes take their painting seriously," said Sir Kenneth seriously. "The patterns they produce are not the result of mere accident but of intense, if short-lived concentration and a lively sense of...

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