Art: Incantations in Color

His first love was music. Even today, at 69, Julius Bissier plays the cello and loves chamber music. And the tiny, delicate paintings that he creates, small magical incantations of color, are in his fond word "songs."

Bissier prizes his little songs and feels lonely when they are absent. But absent they were last week: 130 of his recent works, 88 of them straight from his tidy chest of portfolios, went on show in the new quarters of Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art (see opposite page). Two years ago, few people outside his native Germany had ever heard of Bissier; it took...

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