Art: Electricity in Water

Nearly 80 years after his death, Vincent Van Gogh still remains a startlingly modern artist. Psychologists continue to delight in analyzing the psychoses betrayed by his tormented whorls. Lovers of abstract expressionism find in his sulfurous palette a close relationship with Pollock and De Kooning. Yet, as is made clear by a lively display of 90 Van Gogh watercolors and drawings (see color opposite) that go on view this month at Philadelphia's Museum of Art, Van Gogh was in more than one major respect a 19th century man. While today's painters see their...

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