Art: Richard Diebenkorn's Drawings, The Decisive Line of a Master

Richard Diebenkorn's drawings make an inspiring exhibition

The idea of mastery has taken a beating in American art circles in the 1980s. Scorned by deconstructivists as the mask of elitism, downgraded by critics who ought to know better, misused ad nauseam by the art dealers' industry, and rare as the phoenix anyway -- Who wants it? And yet, who doesn't? Sometimes you come across a contemporary exhibition for which there is no other word, and the show of drawings by Richard Diebenkorn at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City is one.

For mastery does not mean a talent frozen in its own fancy high-mindedness, a...

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