Asked to describe the ideal exhibition, you might, understandably, come up with something like the recent Matisse retrospective at MOMA: a comprehensive, scholarly, illuminating effort, thoughtfully selected and sensitively installed, studded with works of dazzling excellence and authority. Yet there is another sort of show, more modest but almost as impressive, where the impact of the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts, where an arresting idea, intelligently presented and tellingly illustrated, is more important even than the character of its individual components. “El Taller Torres-García: The School of the South and Its Legacy,” seen this winter in New York, was just such a show, a rewarding, informative introduction to a complex, obscure chapter in the history of New World modernism.[1] “El Taller” was the school-workshop...


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