LEO CASTELLI'S death is an exclamation point that ends an era. In 1958 I walked into 4 East 77th Street, New York City. A slight man in his 40s was hanging paintings in a 23-ft. by 24-ft. room. This room became the showcase for a number of young, bold American artists. I, a former billboard painter, was one of them. Leo brought an Old World appreciation, but an understanding of the American spirit, to New York City and the world. In the late '50s and '60s, with his first wife, Ileana Sonnabend, he discovered Rauschenberg, Johns, Stella, Lichtenstein, Bontecou and others....

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