Collage: Revolution from Refuse

"So that one cannot say, 'the poor fellow had no inkling of how important he was,' I know full well that the time will come for me and all the other important personalities of the abstract movement when we will influence an entire generation."

The speaker was German-born Kurt Schwitters; the year, 1931. Seventeen years later, he died in exile in England, all but unknown. As a current retrospective of 163 works in Manhattan's Marlborough-Gerson Gallery shows, he was never a major figure in the abstract movement, but he raised the art of...

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