Art: Manhattan Midwinter: Through the Eddy

There have been times in the history of art when progress stopped—a kind of eddy, a period of confusion. Today seems just such a time with the artist, like Matthew Arnold's traveler, "wandering between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born."

In Manhattan galleries at midwinter, the overall impression is of a series of dead ends being earnestly explored by many artists. They are producing hundreds of square yards of post-abstract expressionism, after Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell et al., and seeming acres of color field after Morris Louis and Jules Olitski....

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