“Picasso and the Age of Iron,” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
March 19—May 16, 1993

This exhibition attempts to survey, in a new way, the great period of sculptural experimentation and innovation between 1925 and 1950, when constructed sculpture was invented and secured its position as a mainstream modernist style. To this end, Carmen Giménez, a curator of twentieth-century art at the Guggenheim, has marshaled an eclectic and ultimately curious mixture of sculptors: Picasso, Julio González, and David Smith—so far so good—as well as Alexander Calder and Alberto Giacometti. This last artist is so misplaced as to seem the guest who has arrived for the wrong party.

Giménez’s argument against taking a more conventional approach—a straightforward look at Picasso’s, González’s, and Smith’s work—is that it would have...

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