Art: Year of the Vegetable

In the past year, few artists have had a faster rise to international fame than British Abstractionist Graham Sutherland. His thorny landscapes were a major attraction of last summer's Venice Biennale; he recently had a huge exhibition in Paris, is scheduled for another big show during British coronation festivities, and has been asked to paint a portrait of Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth. Last week Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art put 49 Sutherland pictures on exhibit—the biggest cross section of his work ever shown in the U.S.

As Boston was quick to note, Sutherland is a ferocious artist. Except in such conventional portraits...

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