Painting: Topography from Lilliput

In a season when paintings have grown large enough to require flatcars for easels, and brushstrokes have turned into mighty walls of color bright enough to divert low-flying aircraft, a Lilliputian touch is welcome. Such is the mark of Italy's Gianfranco Baruchello, 41, whose works seem painted with a brush one millimeter wide to produce meticulous yet mysterious images that float across glossy white panels like microbes creeping from an infested imagination.

"Painting is my language," says Baruchello, son of an Italian lawyer. Neither pop nor op, his vocabulary is intellectual, full...

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