PRINT December 2003

Robert Rosenblum


1 “Art Deco 1910–1939” (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) As time travel back to the World of Tomorrow, this theatrical tour de force digs up the lost and giddy civilization of our modernist roots, a Machine Age fantasy covering everything from cigarette lighters to Busby Berkeley film clips. Léger and Brancusi make brief appearances, too, looking even more at home next to Chanel and Rolls-Royce than they do in MoMA’s pantheon. And the global reach of Art Deco couldn’t be more topical, with over-the-top items from India, Mexico, China . . . Whether culled from factories or Aztec ornament, this total environment of zigzagging geometries also sounds a death knell for our long infatuation with Art Nouveau’s vinelike grip. Hail now the right angle and the clean slate!

2 Damien Hirst, Armageddon (Gagosian Gallery, New York) The dark side of this old-fashioned vision of utopia

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