"The fifties are viewed today as the decade of abstract expressionism, and they were. But, as I commented, they were also a time in which diverse artistic styles flourished-and crossfertilized each other as they competed for art world attention. New York school art ranged from realism to nonobjectivity, from purist art-as-art to expressionist life-as-art, from traditional painting and sculpture to iconoclastic environment and happenings. At once inspired and challenged by this rich stew of styles and ideas, ambitious artists could recognize what was fresh or stale in the art around them while realizing their own individual visions. New art could not have been created in any other milieu."
Sandler, I. (2003). A Sweeper -Up After Artists. New York, NY: Thames and Hudson. p. 109