Art: Most with the Least

No Manhattan art gathering really got off the ground until the courtly figure with the walrus mustache and steel-rimmed monocle appeared and someone announced, as someone always did, "Barney's here." Barney was Barnett Newman, abstract painter, self-proclaimed anarchist, celebrated raconteur, the compleat iconoclast. Before his death in Manhattan this month at the age of 65, he provided the most obvious visual link between the generation that produced Abstract Expressionism and the generation that turned to minimal and color-field painting.

Open and Free. There was nothing in the world about which he had no...

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