Art: Painter of the Crass Crowd

Pop art? Hard-edge? Many visitors to Richard Lindner's latest show at Manhattan's Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery suffer an uninformed urge to link his art to the latest fads of the newest artists. But Lindner is 62; his paintings are a liaison with the past and Europe. Groomed by Dada and formed by cubism, he shows how the art that shocks today is resolutely linked to the art that shocked yesteryear.

Lindner's paintings are violently theatrical; bathed in stagelight, they proffer biting vignettes of the modern world. Each character is an island: giant kew-pie-doll children with pasty faces, strolling tradesmen stolidly strutting with...

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