PRINT December 2000

Lisa Liebmann


1 “1900: Art at the Crossroads” (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York) I haven’t traveled much this year, so without this wonderful show I might not have met my quota of far-flung museum discoveries and strange reencounters in art. The exhibition, curated by Robert Rosenblum, Norman Rosenthal, MaryAnne Stevens, and Ann Dumas, inspired some remarkable off-the-record reactions. One normally sanguine colleague confessed at least half-seriously to feeling that certain people shouldn’t be allowed to see it: too dangerous for the uninitiate. “Maybe Alfred Barr was right,” she added. (An enormous triptych, The Stream, by Léon Fréderic—an avalanche of cavorting Aryan cherubim in picturesque sylvan settings—was the acid test of critical tolerance.) In truth, the show, with its textbook themes and its dependence on the 1900 Exposition Universelle as a fulcrum, was perfectly

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