Art: ROUGH STUFF IN THE LIBRARY

SHORTLY after World War II, a grim, cliff-faced German named Max Beckmann arrived in the U.S. He was without honor in his own country; Hitler had branded him a "degenerate painter" and hounded him from the land. He had spent the war years in semi-hiding in Amsterdam, developing his own rainbow-hued brand of German expressionism. Imported by Washington University in St. Louis to teach art, Beckmann set about changing the course of American painting, and kept at it until his death in 1950. Although he himself was never an abstract painter, the New...

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