Art: Still Able to Surprise

Of all the hundreds of exhibitions put together by the curators of the Great American art boom (circa 1962-73), not one tried to give an account of what was being painted in Europe. The reason, as everyone "knew," was that European art no longer mattered. Paris was over; London, a village; only New York had a hammer lock on history. This eminently questionable belief, fathered by chauvinism and fed by the largest promotional apparatus in the history of art, lay at the root of American art politics in the '60s and formed the taste...

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