Painting: Return to the Challenge

No matter what school of painting happened to be ascendant in the U.S. during the postwar years, a small number of good painters continued to paint realistically. In most cases, their canvases reflected the prevailing mode. When abstract expressionism was in its heyday, such figurative painters as the late David Park and Richard Diebenkorn employed the smeary technique and turbulent palette commonly associated with Pollock and De Kooning. In the current era of cool, disengaged pop and hard-edge abstraction, a hardy band of realists has developed a cool, precise, in fact almost...

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