The Most Living Artist

In art, as in most other matters, the '70s have not yet been named. Historians looking back on American art in the '60s see movements and orthodoxies—Pop art, minimal art, conceptual art, Op art, color-field painting, doctrines about flatness and framing edge, proscriptions, mandates. The categories rattle briskly like punch cards in their slots. Art in the '70s is more polymorphous, less ambitious, harder to sort out. The present creed proclaims belief in the Either, the Or and the Holy Both.

During the 1960s, formalism conferred an almost messianic exclusiveness on taste. If one was "for" one kind of...

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