New York

William Turner

Museum of Modern Art

Every college survey of 19th-century painting lashes William Turner anew to the shipmast at the heart of the storm; each sees Turner as an Impressionist precursor whose seminal role rivals that of Delacroix; each retells how “A Graduate From Oxford,” Ruskin, initiated a new appreciation for the majestic late “disintegrations” through his insistence, almost in the face of all reasonable evidence, that these paint patches and webworks were, after all, exact natural recreations. Turner then is a thrice-told tale and more.

The Turner exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art focuses on the late production, although there are a few early canvases painted before the close of the 18th century in the academically approved manner of Claude and the Sublime Landscape. To strengthen the uncompromisingly modern trend of the late work a large body of unfamiliar oils have been included including the charming

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