Art: Small But Enduring

Still-life painting is perhaps the mildest form of art. While expressionists leap from pique to pique, and abstractionists zero grimly in on private voids, the still-life artist tidily rules a table-top world of unmoving, everyday things. Chances are he paints in a sitting position, slowly and with quiet enjoyment, never spattering his cuffs. Like mushrooms, his work prospers in a cool, humble atmosphere and appeals chiefly to gourmets. Still lifes are bound to be overshadowed by the products of more ambitious painters. Yet they sell well. Table-top worlds make reassuring, easy-to-live-with pictures.

Last week Manhattan's lolas Gallery was showing one of the...

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