Art: Oblivious People

In his life as in his work, Raphael Soyer, 60, is one of the quietest of American painters. Short (5 ft. 2 in.) and shy he speaks in a voice so low that listeners must cup their ears to hear him. But his feelings run deep, and his words are often blunt. This week 32 oils and 34 of his drawings are on display at Manhattan's ALA Gallery in his first show in four years. They were like the man himself-strangely still, unexpectedly strong

Ever since his boyhood in Tambov Russia, Soyer wanted to be...

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