Art: O Rare Ben Johnson

The conclave of nudes sprawled around the rooms of Manhattan's Kornblee Gallery gives the place the air of a millinery bawdyhouse: most of the ladies in the paintings wear large, horticultural hats and little else. Painter Ben Johnson, 60, brings off the neat trick of evoking an almost Rubens fleshiness while adhering to a strict hard-edge technique, and his voluptuaries thrive surprisingly well in their poster environment.

One well-talcumed nymph lolls whitely against a background of Pepto-Bismol pink, her orange hair providing the final color clash that makes the whole thing undulate provocatively before the eyes. Another, in a great Flanders Field...

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