Art: So What's New?

Abstract art, in its heyday after World War II, had a vitality and expressiveness that will forever enrich painting and sculpture. But in much of the abstractionist work of recent years, the vitality has seemed played out, and a sizable school of critics has decided that abstract is old hat. Last week, musing over the recent annual at Manhattan's Whitney Museum. Frank Getlein, the conservative art critic for the liberal New Republic, gave a lively verdict on the state of abstraction today.

Getlein recalled that a few years ago Critic Harold Rosenberg, the man...

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