Art: Painted Stones

"Painting," says Vienna-born Henry Koerner, "is thinking, thinking, thinking." Koerner's thoughtful new pictures, on exhibition in a Manhattan gallery last week, struck some critics as shocking, shocking, shocking—and in some cases, pointless to boot.

In less than two years, Henry Koerner had become one of the most important and controversial figures in U.S. art* His allegories of postwar Germany and the U.S. had the robust realism of a modern Bruegel and often the satiric bite of Hieronymus Bosch. His colors might range from the muddy to the garish, and his compositions might tend to...

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