Art: Ruts & Peaks

Of the hundreds of thousands of U.S. tourists who are swarming across Europe this summer, a great number will visit Venice and ride in a gondola. A few of them will go to see Venice's 26th biennial exhibition, one of the biggest contemporary art shows ever staged. It has been characterized as a cornucopia of riches (more than 3,000 entries from 27 nations), and as a pain in the craning neck. The riches are there, and it takes craning to find them.

Sagging Slaves. As might be expected in so vast a show, 90% of the work slavishly follows fashion. Although Russia...

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