James P. STERBA
New Work in Black and White
2 September 1981
By James P. STERBA
An American art exhibition opened here today after United States officials refused last-minute demands by their hosts to remove 13 modern abstract paintings. It is the first art show sponsored by the United States Government since the Communist takeover. Chinese officials backed down after the organizers had threatened to cancel the exhibition unless all 70 paintings, covering the range of American art on canvas from Colonial to contemporary periods, were shown in accordance with prior agreements. Decision at Senior Level After a weekend of tense negotiations, both sides tried to play down the dispute at today's opening ceremonies, which were delayed one hour in a face-saving protest by Chinese cultural officials. The Americans were reportedly prepared to delay or cancel the signing of Sino-American Cultural Exchange agreements for the coming year if the Chinese did not allow the show to go on as planned.
New York Times • Front Page; Arts • page 1 • 1,094 words