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Paradoxes of painting

The perceived possibilities of photography and postmodern art have killed painting. Still, it's a great time to be a painter

By David Gelernter   February 2002

It is a terrible time for painting, but a marvellous time for painters. Compare today with (say) the 1950s. Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Henri Matisse were names that wielded Hollywood glamour with the public. Abstract expressionism was simultaneously a leading-edge movement and a major influence on wallpaper design: high culture and home decorating intersected. Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and others made pictures that ranked with some of the most beautiful in the history of art. Although abstract art was in, there was plenty of room for such heterodox artists as Joseph Cornell and Edward Hopper in…

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