Art: Arrogant Intrusion

No doubt there have been some art critics who wished, in self-indulgent moments, that art history were neater than it is, that the work fitted the pet theory more smoothly. The sight of a critic physically altering an artist's work to conform to his own ideas about it is, mercifully, almost unknown. But it happened recently—to David Smith, who died in 1965 and is probably the greatest sculptor in U.S. history. Readers of this month's Art in America were electrified to learn from an article by Art Historian Rosalind Krauss that since Smith's death...