"Twentieth-century art was a radically new endeavor, a total revision of acquired values and an effort to base the visual arts on revolutionary principles. Over the years this endeavor showed an increasing audacity." ---Rene Huyghe
This statement by the great French art historian perhaps explains the reason for much of the confusion and exasperation that has plagued many people when trying to "understand" or "interpret" modern art.
This exhibition of 45 original prints provides an introduction to the styles and movements of the first half of the 20th century: Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Neo-Romanticisrn, Non-Objective art and Abstract Expressionism. Some of the artists represented include Lipchitz, Villon, Arp, Lam, Miro, Masson, Dali, Giacometti, Hundertwasser, Gottlieb, Motherwell, Marini, Calder, and Alechinsky. It also features examples of works by some of the important artists who were not aligned with a particular style, such as Chagall, Pignon, and Modigliani.
With the exception of Dadaism, modern art was not a deliberate revolt against earlier movements as much as it was an experimental progression. Modern artists refused to be limited by the same confinements and increasingly expanded the meanings of art. As new definitions of art and new theories of the human spirit were introduced, modern artists eagerly welcomed the possibilities and began exploring the world from different vantage points. At the same time, new modes of expression emerged and the world began to look like a different place. Many of the artists represented in this exhibition emigrated to New York in the l940's with the help of the Emergency Rescue Committee. Their art reflects both their sense of displacement and the general angst of the 20th century. Accompanied by text panels that describe each of the art movements, the exhibition helps to focus the myriad styles and developments of the modem art world.