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The Year in Art


Goya's Maja and Celestina, 1824-25.  

1. “Goya’s Last Works,” at the Frick
Museums, galleries, and artists should challenge, not just reflect, the fashions of our time. This show was a masterpiece of understatement and concision—values rarely found in this blowhard era. In a small space, the Frick captured the breadth of the aging painter’s imagination, presenting superb examples of his painting and drawing, and his haunting, strangely modern character. At the center of the exhibit was a collection of magical ivory miniatures; Goya would cover the surface with carbon black and then, using drops of water and some watercolor, find and improvise phantasmagorical scenes. No exhibition of 2006, however grand, seemed larger than this small one.


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