The practice of undertaking periodic reviews of artistic trends, or of surveying the current scene in general, is widely popular in the art world today. Almost anyone who thinks he’s onto something important can arrange an exhibition around his idea. Last winter, for example, Ted Greenwald, owner of a downtown gallery, did just that with two shows entitled “Abstract Implosionism,” his name for a diverse body of recent work which, we were to believe, addressed the question of pictorial space in a new and important way. As is so often the case with such endeavors, however, one toured the exhibition feeling no firm connection between the underlying concept and the work intended to illustrate it. Shown in a different context, that same body of work could have been made to prove something entirely different.

Nonetheless, the practice of taking stock has long been institutionalized. In part...


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