Happenings: Pop Culture

As a self-declared movement, pop art is more than just paint and plaster; it is also a clangor of nonmusic, a babble of tape recorders, and the "happening," a nonplay which requires one or two small rooms and the tolerance of the spectators. In short, a branch of show business. Last week Washington, earnestly aspiring to be the new cultural capital of the U.S., was deep in something called "The Pop Art Festival," staged by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art.

First came the neorealist show. On opening night, the confused guests sat down on the armchair that was part...

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