Painting: Peacock Duo

The minority opinion among critics at last summer's Venice Biennale was that the top prize should have gone to a U.S. painter who is far from pop. He is Kenneth Noland, whose work, along with that of his stylistic comrade, the late Morris Louis, was presented in the official U.S. exhibit as an alternate direction to that taken by Prizewinner Robert Rauschenberg (TIME, Sept. 18) and Jasper Johns (TIME, Dec. 4).

The decorative appeal of Louis' and Noland's work, especially for European critics, is not hard to understand. Compared to the beer cans, taxidermic delights, and other hairy intrusions of...

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