Art: New Directions

The studio in Fordingbridge, 75 miles from London, looked oddly unlike the workshop of a great painter. Instead of easel and brushes, a wheelbarrow full of clay stood in the center of the room, the wooden kitchen table was littered with well-used sculptor's tools, and finished and unfinished busts rested on pedestals or were swaddled in damp cloth. But for all the strange clutter, it was the studio of Britain's dean of portraitists: bearded crusty old Augustus John, still vigorous and sharp-eyed at 74. In the six months, John has picked up...

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