Paris, Capital of the Arts 1900—1968
BILBAO • Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao • Ongoing
|From 1900 to 1968, Paris saw itself as the world capital of the visual arts, a global magnet for artists attracted by the dynamism of the French capital and the spirit of creativity that prevailed. Beginning in 1900 with the World Fair, and ending with the street riots in 1968, the Royal Academy’s ambitious exhibition of over 250 paintings and sculptures attempts to explore the dramatic impact of the major art movements that emerged in the context of social and political change in Paris.|
Paris: Capital of the Arts 1900–1968 will feature work by the great figures of the modern movement, such as Matisse, Léger and Duchamp, who were joined in Paris by artists from all over the world – Picasso, Miró and Dalí from Spain, Chagall and Kandinsky from Russia, Giacometti from Switzerland, Brancusi from Romania, Modigliani from Italy, Foujita from Japan, Beckmann from Germany and Calder from America – thereby creating an extraordinarily fertile environment for artistic innovation. After the second World War, a new generation of artists including Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint-Phalle and Ellsworth Kelly were also attracted by the spirit of innovation and experiment of the French capital.
Four geographical areas of Paris, reflecting the city’s evolving social and intellectual centres over the years, provide an evocative structure for the exhibition: Montmartre (1900–1918) – birthplace of Cubism, where Braque and Picasso participated in the greatest pictorial revolution since the Renaissance. Montparnasse (1919–1939) – citadel of pleasure, where artists embraced chic café society, and witnessed the rise of Surrealism.
St Germain des Près (1940–1957) – centre of artistic conscience that reflected disturbing developments during the Nazi occupation, and the emergence of existentialism after the War. The Latin Quarter (1958–1968) – torn posters, crushed cars and shot paintings express a violent artistic response to Paris in the ‘60s, culminating in the political upheaval of May 1968. This show was first seen at the Royal Academy in London.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Web Site
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