Art: Flight from Approval

The official title of the show opening this week at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art is "The Art of Assemblage." But the show's creator, William C. Seitz, explains that the fuller title would be "The Art, Non-Art and Anti-Art of Assemblage." For an assemblage is neither a painting nor a sculpture, but something beyond, a combining of all sorts of objects —knives and forks, torn bits of burlap, weathered wood, old boxes, smashed pieces of cars, dismembered dolls, an abandoned breakfast—to achieve all sorts of effects. The Modern Museum's exhibition is the first major show of assemblages ever held, and even...

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