Art: Mechanics Illustrated

Comic grace and a needling mysteriousness inform much of Rebecca Horn's eccentric sculpture

The work of the German artist Rebecca Horn, on view at New York City's Guggenheim Museum through Oct. 1, has something in common with recent American feminist art, but not much. You could call hers a European sensibility, meaning that it is open to nuance and, whatever its references to the politics of the suffering body, to humor. It is oblique, magical and ironic, and has none of the in-your-face tone of complaint (men are colonizing thugs, women are victims, and a display of wounds is all you need to make a piece of art) that renders the work of so...

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