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“Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil” ostentatiously combines two museum trends: exhibitions built around one important painting, and the growing urge of museums of all kinds to feature modern and contemporary art. Here the yen for newness is lavishly advertised by a show centering on the billboard-size painting “Treatise on the Veil (Second Version),” a panoramic canvas measuring nearly 33 feet across that Cy Twombly (1928-2011) made in Rome in 1970.

The painting, from the Menil Collection in Houston, is displayed in what seems like splendid isolation despite the presence of 10 large related collages, some of which incorporate cardboard and plywood.

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Scratch an art dealer, and you’ll often find a curator. That’s the case with Craig Starr, who seems to operate in the secondary art market mainly to support his persistent curatorial itch. For nearly a decade, he has been mounting sharp-focus shows of historical works by prominent American postwar artists in his jewel-box gallery on the Upper East Side.

Mr. Starr’s latest effort — one of his best — is “Robert Rauschenberg: The Fulton Street Studio, 1953-54.” With 15 works borrowed from private collections, this exhibition delves into a formative period in the development of Rauschenberg (1925-2008), when he was in his late 20s and moving fast. It presents his sensibility in a nutshell, his broad aesthetic range, omnivorous curiosity, playfulness and intuitive elegance.

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