Art: Up from Goopiness

The taste of fame and the energizing sense of being the cause of controversy came to David Park only in the five years before his death in 1960. He was one of a number of painters who plunged into abstractionism and then returned to the figure—and his defection helped inspire a full-scale rebellion among painters around San Francisco. Dying of cancer at 49, he never fulfilled his own promise as an artist-yet his achievement was sufficient to make him one of the most significaf.; U.S. painters of the 1950s.

Last week a Park retrospective opened at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D...

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