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Bird in Space by Constantin Brancusi (this version c. 1941)
This totemic reduction of nature--the streamlining of a bird's body, the swish of its flight--was a prediction of the technological world to come in the second half of the century.
RUNNERS-UPGuitar by Pablo Picasso; The Chariot by Alberto Giacometti
Place de l'Europe, Paris by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1932)
Cartier-Bresson demonstrated the strange magic in moments in which nothing much happens but all sorts of things are revealed.
RUNNERS-UP Identifying the Dead, Russian Front by Dmitri Baltermants; Wall Street by Paul Strand
Levi's 501 jeans by Levi Strauss & Co. (1960)
Although the precursors got their patented copper rivets in 1873, 501s belong squarely in the 20th century. Worn by everyone from Presidents to rock stars, they can be dressed up or casual, hardworking or sexy.
RUNNERS-UP The miniskirt; Coco Chanel's little black dress