Art: Return-Trip Ticket

Lee Bontecou set the art scene alight in the '60s, then disappeared. A new show brings her back alive

You might be tempted to describe Lee Bontecou as elfin. There's no denying that she's small and lean. And when she tilts forward to tell you, "I'm shy," you can take it to the bank. At 72 she has the same Dutch-boy haircut that she had four decades ago, when she was dynamiting a place for herself in the New York art world. Back then she must have reminded people of the writer Carson McCullers, who would have seemed pixieish only until you read her.

It's the same with Bontecou, who produced some of the gravest, most tough-minded and even belligerent...

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