Captain Moonlight: Expectoration at the RA

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I GOT into something of a twist last week over the expectoration outbreak at the Royal Academy. You will recall that in my piece about the stormy passage of the academy's current exhibition, American Art in the 20th Century, I told you that David Sylvester, the art critic, had spat at Norman Rosenthal, the academy's exhibition secretary, at the press view; in fact, it was Rosenthal who spat at Sylvester after Sylvester had made some provocative remarks about the exhibition. Sylvester's invitation to deliver the academy's Reynolds lecture was subsequently withdrawn by Sir Roger de Grey, the president, after he wrote a letter to the Independent criticising the exhibition. Sylvester will now be delivering his lecture, on Willem de Kooning, elsewhere in London. He has since apologised to Mr Rosenthal for provoking him at the press view; I apologise to him.