Alain Séchas, Enfants Gâtés (Spoiled children) (detail), 1997, wood, plastic, and mirrors, dimensions variable.

“Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art”

The Jewish Museum

Despite the barrage of negative criticism that greeted “Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art” when it opened in mid-March—from hysterical outrage to self-satisfied dismissals of both the art and the ideas put forward—it is an uncommonly thoughtful if profoundly disturbing show. Like two other important recent exhibitions on the East Coast—the Gerhard Richter retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Barnett Newman retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, both of which in their own manner touched on questions raised in “Mirroring Evil”—the Jewish Museum exhibition demands careful and respectful looking and meditation. By “respectful” I do not, of course, mean to recommend pompous solemnity, which would be out of keeping with the palpable air of irony, satire, playfulness, and send-up that permeates the material on view—on the contrary. I mean that the pieces

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