Galleries: The Box, Glue & Nail Set

Invitations to New York openings now must be art works themselves: invisible-ink posters, a kaleidoscope rattling full of the artist's favorite images, plastic ice cubes filled with bolts or ball bearings, a signed shopping bag for a group show of what artists collect. It takes at least that much to entice jaded connoisseurs away from their collections of old Batman comic books and portable ant colonies. Meanwhile, the artists were busy nailing, gluing and boxing together things that are neither pop nor op.

Take Niki de Saint-Phalle, 34, for instance. She was born Agnes, looked demure on a LIFE cover...

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