Art: Classics of Modernism

Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art got to thinking back, and then went rummaging in the cellar. Result: the biggest display yet of the Museum's permanent collection. "Painting and Sculpture," some 375 items strong, was also the Museum's clearest statement, to date, of its own taste.

Opening-nighters, strolling through an atmosphere of suave showmanship, got a strong impression that modernism's most resounding salvos are still being fired by French-school painters long dead (Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh) or artists now aging (Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse).

For "Painting and Sculpture" (which included photography and drawings) the Museum had prepared no special catalogue and skipped...

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