Art: A World Of Grownups

Urban sophistication was the theme of John Koch's life and of his work. And both look alluring today

Perhaps it says something about the present state of American painting that one of the most beautiful, intelligent and original shows to appear in New York City in the past few years should be by a dead artist who was dismissed by the modernist establishment when he was alive. (Oh, well, what else is new? Why should we expect modernist taste to be any smarter than premodernist or postmodernist?) He was John Koch. His work is at the New York Historical Society. As it should be, for it is intimately part of the history of Manhattan, as, say, Jackson Pollock's is...

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