An attack on modern art and the aesthetics behind it moves backwards in me. It's hard to say why, from the contemporary scene to Delacroix. Though it erks like a jig, it can be intensely illuminating and frequently funny when ancing through the dark dens of avant-gardism and the ""picture-blind connoisseurs"" who hang out there. The author's weapons range from rocks to pebbles, and the astemakers (publications like Art News, people like Herbert Read, Barr and Hess) yet it both ways. Abstract Expressionism naturally places at Point Zero on the author's scale of values. Random samplings: after 40, Picasso and Utrillo produced hocus-pocus nonsense; Mondrian, it seems, always did; Miro, Klee and Dubuffet are glorified doodlers; Gauguin was a pseudo-primitive, Monet and Pissarro amateurs. Braque, Cezanne, Renois and Degas, among others, fare better. The author's bete oire is the chi-chi double talk of the galleries, the inflated reputations and values, all that institutionalized obfuscation. Extreme, eccentric, engaging.