The late Francis Bacon, the subject of a retrospective now on view in Germany, was vehement in his disdain for abstraction and illustration. And yet, the author suggests, these techniques were integral to his presentation of violent imagery.
Though 21 years dead, Matisse refuses to become historical. An alertness to one or another aspect of his achievements still informs the works and attitudes of contemporary artists of many persuasions. Eight American artists comment.