While there are several thoughtful segues from picture to picture in this installation (there’s a terrific run of the Steiner spoked wheel to the Weston plaster works to the Outerbridge telephone, as well as a selection of sinuous nudes put together with a Brassai soap blob), this show isn’t really about the edit or even the story of Modernism. Instead, it feels like a subtle power play. There are very few galleries any place on Earth that could pull off a show like this one with the quality of work seen here. 3 vintage Sheelers, including a River Rouge industrial, the flying buttresses of Chartres, and an elegant water lily? An oversized (and vintage) Sander portrait? These aren’t things that we see everyday, and their display here is an impressive signal of strength. It’s one thing to have two or three of these gems, but to have such depth of museum-quality inventory is pretty astonishing.
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