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Doug and Mike Starn with Big Bambu in the Metropolitan Museum of Art roof terrace
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THE YEAR IN ART
by Jerry Saltz



1. "Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy and Germany, 1918-1936" at the Guggenheim Museum
Itís not often that a show pulls back the curtain on conventional wisdom or revises art history outright. But guest curator Kenneth Silver has done that with panache. Thanks to his show, we have a clearer, less formalist idea of what was going on across Europe between the wars. As weíve long suspected, art didnít simply march forward from Cubism in the teens through Dada and Surrealism in the Ď20s and Ď30s; it made some strange pit stops along the way, into an often disturbing realism. At the grand, terrifying end to this show -- just yards from Olympia, Leni Riefenstahlís ode to Teutonic superiority -- is the work of one of Hitlerís favorite painters, Adolf Ziegler. That his triptych of four sinewy female nudes looks uncannily like the work of John Currin left me gasping about the present.

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