Art: On the Table

Walter Murch is a man who loves to work at night, painting floodlit still lifes in a shadowy studio. "Sometimes I'll knock off to raid the icebox," he says, "but when I'm working I'm liable to forget the time altogether. Between the emotional kick and the visual kick, I feel suspended."

Murch's paintings, on view in a Manhattan gallery last week, had all the dim, cold calm of false dawn. They were done with dead-eye accuracy, in greenish gobs of shadow laced with silvery threads and buttons of light. He had put the paint on thickly, Murch explained, because "that helps create...

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