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"Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern Art"
2006-12-23 until 2007-11-18
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
USA United States of America
Approximately 60 rarely shown paintings, watercolors, drawings, collages, and sculptures are featured in Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern Art, an exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art from December 23, 2006 through November 18, 2007. Drawn from the extensive holdings of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Picasso to Pop charts the museum’s history of acquiring works by twentieth century innovators as well as the diversity and international reach of modern art.
The exhibition begins with a powerful Picasso drawing of a head dated 1906. Then come a variety of experimental works by George Grosz, Paul Klee, Georges Roualt, and Wyndham Lewis, who represent some of the advanced artistic movements of the 1920s. Concurrently, Paris was the stronghold of the Surrealists, among them Salvador Dalí and Yves Tanguy. By the 1930s and ’40s they cast their spell as far as Latin and Central America, influencing the artists Rufino Tamayo, Jesús Maria Galván, and Mario Carreño. Meanwhile, the neo-Romantics, now an often-overlooked movement, were in full stride. Although the Wadsworth Atheneum is famous for its Surrealist paintings, its acquisitions of works by the neo-Romantics Pavel Tchelitchew, Kristians Tonny, and Eugene Berman are equally important.
The disruption of World War II was responsible only in part for the shift in the world’s cultural capital to New York. New generations of American artists had already been reinventing and redefining the visual arts, such as Joseph Cornell, the master of collage. The 1950s witnessed the international recognition of Abstract Expressionism, best exemplified by two Jackson Pollock paintings. By the early 1960s, the mass appeal of American popular culture gave rise to Pop Art, famously embodied in the work of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
Picasso to Pop also revisits one of art history’s favorite subjects—the nude—at its opening, middle, and close, with notable examples by Picasso, Carreño, and Tom Wesselman.
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