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Jerry Saltz on "Unpainted Paintings" at Luxembourg & Dayan

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The history of modernism reads like an aesthetic Book of the Dead. At the first glimmering of photography, painter Paul Delaroche fretted, "From today, painting is dead." In 1912, ­Duchamp mused, "Painting is washed up." Aleksandr Rodchenko pronounced his 1921 monochromes "the end of painting." Critic Harold Rosenberg was fond of a line, popular among the AbEx crowd, declaring that the painting of "Newman had closed the door, Rothko had pulled down the shades, and Reinhardt had turned out the lights." And Rein­hardt himself once said, "I am merely making the last painting which anyone can make."

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