Art: American Abstraction Abroad

Working its way through Europe this summer is one of the most explosive and controversial art shows in decades. Called "The New American Painting" and financed by the International Council at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition is the first long, mass look Europeans have had at the leaders of the abstract expressionist movement. Billed by its partisans as the first home-grown art movement to rate international recognition, "The New American Painting" is getting cheers from most younger painters, cries of outrage from many critics, nibbles from some collectors and a monumental amount of bafflement from the general public.

A fair...

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