Painting Against the Grain

In the decades after World War II, artists argued the relative merits of abstract and figurative painting over drinks at the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village. The history books have muted that once lively debate, dubbing Abstract Expressionism an art movement of paramount importance. And today’s marketplace, too, values New York School abstractions above artworks by New York School figurative painters. But Henry Justin, a passionate art collector, is not ready to concede the argument.

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Collection of the Center for Figurative Painting, New York

Leland Bell, ‘Figure Group with Bird,’ 1987-1990

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