Art: Does Easy Do It?

All season, Manhattan galleries had bulged with abstract art done in the latest, or devil-may-care style. Some weeks, four and five such shows were running at once (TIME, Feb. 20). Serious and respected practitioners had taken to dribbling paint onto their canvases from buckets; others seemed to be painting blindfold, with bent spoons. The effects were startling, and in some avant-garde circles, awe-inspiring. Here, a few critics maintained, was the art of the future.

If so, the mild, mellow, delicately tuned abstractions that one Manhattan gallery put on display last week would soon become passé. Done by a 38-year-old Italian who signs...