Color vs line
When the color and line factions within the French Royal Academy argued in the 17th century about which was superior, they never imagined painting might be parsed down to such basics in the 20th century. Abandonning all traditional (or even untraditional) subject matter, art left storytelling behind for something less narrative. Just about everything else has been left behind or re-fashioned, including commentary.
From our perspective, though, color still rules. Just as Reubens prevailed in that ancient dispute, color takes hold of our senses in irresistable ways--whether in a work of art or nature. We are seduced, again and again, by color.
Of course, as in many ages, there are those who magically animate color through line. One of the most delightful sights of the season so far was the stunning collection of Van Gogh canvases at the end of The Taft Museum's Daugbiny exhibition.