New York

“19th Century American Drawings, Pastels and Watercolors”

Kennedy Galleries

This is an appropriate moment to mention, however briefly, a show of 19th-century American watercolors, drawings and pastels at the Kennedy Galleries. The important thing about it is how much better it is than a show of oils would be by these same artists, who are on the whole not the best artists. In oils, most of them do work that is petrified; or bombastic, or both; but in a less ambitious medium the pressure is off, and the work shows a corresponding gain in suppleness, if not quite always in sensitivity. Who would expect, from David Claypoole Johnston, an adequately managed arrangement of values in a generally Baroque mode; or a Bricher that is not far below Alfred Stevens; or so complete a fusion of the cosmopolitan elegance of the neo-classical line with the native-son genre as we see here in Chalfant; or for that matter a W. T. Richards that approximated—well, maybe not Brett, who

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