Hilton Kramer had recently been appointed editor of Arts magazine and I was a graduate student of art history at New York University Institute of Fine Arts where my MA thesis subject was the Dada-era work by the French–Spanish artist Francis Picabia. Picabia had just died in Paris in November 1953, and Hilton contacted the Institute to find someone who could write an article on him. That is when I first met Hilton. He had me rework the article at least three times, but it appeared in the first issue of Arts magazine’s new luxurious format, illustrated with several large-scale reproductions.

It would have been a fine beginning if I had wanted a career as an arts writer. But I was a serious painter, at that time painting expressionistic abstracted landscapes. However, over the next several years I did publish a few more articles, and when as a painter I had my first...


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