Art: The European Modernists

The cacophony of extreme modernism blew loud in Manhattan's Whitney Museum, which was host last week to "European Artists in America," a show limited to work by 39 Continental refugees. The display ranged all the way from swooning sensuality (Nude Reclining, an oil by Moise Kisling) to attenuated, nihilistic preciosity (Boîte-en-Valise, an "object" by Marcel Duchamp). Between these bypaths lay a two-lane highway of abstraction and surrealism. Outstanding was 44-year-old French Surrealist Yves Tanguy's Un Lieu Oblique (An Oblique Place), a meticulous composition suggesting a segment of interstellar space strewn with broken propeller parts, spilt putty, the detached, heraldic bowsprits of...

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