Exhibitions: Venice, After All

Reports of the imminent death of the Venice Biennale turn out to have been exaggerated. As soon as opening-day newsmen folded their notepads and shuttered their cameras, Venice's rebellious students hauled down their placards and disappeared. By midweek, most of the artists who had joined in the student protest quietly uncovered their works again, and crowds were thronging to the fairgrounds as in other years.

For Europeans, who have learned in recent years to look to the U.S. for stimulus (and a canny guide to future taste in the art markets), the U.S. pavilion was a disappointment. There were no...