Art: Stimulation

Gerhard Marcks is Germany's best-known, and perhaps its unluckiest living sculptor. By last week some 4,000 visitors had trooped through an exhibition in Hamburg celebrating Marcks's 60th birthday, and thousands more would see the show on its coming tour of other western German cities. His lean but otherwise classical collection of bronze and ceramic figures, done with clean, quiet simplicity, drew nothing but raves from the critics. It was a far cry from the mid-'30s, when his sculptures, seized by the state, toured Germany as warning examples of what Adolf Hitler considered "degenerate" art.

But the retrospective show contained a pitifully small...