Modern Means: Continuity And Change In Art, 1880 To Now
Highlights from The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Essays by Deborah Wye and Wendy Weitman.
This study of the modern and contemporary periods approaches art from intertwining historic and thematic perspectives. Four fundamental and pervasive themes, flowering during certain moments yet enduring throughout the years, are explored through examples of work in every medium represented in the Museum's collection. The first section, "Primal," treats work from 1880-1920 that explores primal forces such as sexuality, dreams, illness, death, and regeneration. Artists include Odilon Redon, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimt, Henri Rousseau, and German Expressionist artists of Die Brcke. The second section, "Reductive," considers the period 1920-1950, and examines the work by Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malevich, and Wassily Kandinsky, exploring the impulse toward a visual language that expresses thought and emotion without representation or other associations to the world around us. Section three, "Everyday," looks at production from 1950-1970, when artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter, and Richard Hamilton turned to commonplace objects to explore the influence of commercial culture on the arts. Section four, "Mutability," covers the later 1970s to the present, when uncertainty expressed in visual forms evoked metamorphosis and disequilibrium, as seen in the work of Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Antoni T·pies, Jean Dubuffet, Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse, Mario Merz, and others.