PITTSBURGH’S 1985 CARNEGIE INTERNATIONAL was a jewel of a show, a ritzy display of contemporary art with all the “quality” that one could hope for. This was the exhibition with which the Museum of Modern Art, New York, should have reopened after its renovation in 1984, rather than the halfhearted grab bag of mixed goods with which it tried to show that, contrary to critical opinion, it really was keeping up with contemporary art. The Carnegie International gave short shrift to distinctions between the provincial and the cosmopolitan, the national and the international. The art had its ups and downs—some of it was authentically meaningful, some of it disappointingly depleted—but one was happy to see it all together. And of course one was happy to see it all gathered in a museum in America, for a change. In 1982, the year of the last Carnegie International (which is a triennial event organized
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