“L'autre” 4th Biennale d'art Contemporain de Lyon

4th Biennale d'art Contemporain de Lyon

Putting together a big international survey is not only a matter of knowing which works to include; it also means selecting and presenting pieces in a given space so that they work together and the show functions as something more than the sum of its parts. Harald Szeemann has had a Midas touch now for almost three decades, ever since “When Attitudes Become Form,” in 1968–69. And, unlike so many of his colleagues, he hasn’t lost it. This fourth installment of the “Biennale de Lyon,” featuring eighty-eight artists in a space the size of almost four football fields, demonstrates his aplomb with such majesty that, of all the mammoth European shows this summer, it alone seems worthy of praise.

Szeemann’s achievement becomes all the more impressive when his point of departure is taken into consideration: a relatively slim budget, a columnless, 183,000-square-foot space housed in a

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