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Kirchner Retrospective

The Gallerygoer

By Cynthia Saltzman

ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER paints a girl's face like a summer lime. Blue cheek bones, black and red eyes. Smearing pink, red over the bright surface, his violent hand defines her delicacy. In every harshly subtle gesture, sensitivity spins and enmeshes this violence. Throwing his personality into all his works, this peculiar vision of the world emerges from shocking colors and distorted figures. Every work is a self portrait.

The rapid motion of brushstrokes or the frightened lines in woodcuts recall the act of painting or cutting, and you conjure up an image of Kirchner in the process of work. You see what he felt, you understand what he was.

This will probably be the richest show at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts this year. It will remain open until Sunday, April 27.

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