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PRINT December 2006

Yve-Alain Bois

FRIENDS KNOW IT IS NOT MY HABIT to praise the installation of French museum shows, but this past January my reverse chauvinism was (temporarily) overturned, as Paris offered three superbly hung exhibitions, each very different in tone: “Dada,” whose overflowing and overstimulating presentation at the Centre Pompidou made its subsequent, much reduced American incarnations (at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York) look absurdly bland; “Ed Ruscha: Photographer” at the Jeu de Paume, a greatly expanded and far better version of a 2004 show at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art; and, finally, “Pierre Bonnard: The Work of Art, Suspending Time” at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. This last exhibition was the one I had specifically made the transatlantic trip to see, and this for two reasons. The first was to pay homage to

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