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New York Hosts American Modern Art Showcases

October 19, 2013


Staying at any of the numerous New York city hotels this autumn or winter? If so, everyone agrees that The Armory Show at 100, a retrospective look at works of art which decisively shaped the American art scene, is really worth visiting.

Subtitled ‘Modern Art and Revolution’, this New York Historical Society exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Armory show through a selection of approximately 100 works of art originally featured on it. Ranging from 19th-century paintings, originally included for historic reference, to some of the finest examples of avant-garde early 20th-century art, the array of works included in this revival contains works by such well-known artists as Pablo Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne, Paul Gauguin and Van Gogh, alongside some of the main American artists from the period.

I’ve also been hearing a bit about the original International Exhibition of Modern Art. Held at the Lexington Avenue Armory in 1913, it most renowned for being the American public’s first contact with European avant-garde painting and sculpture. Its impact on the country’s culture, society and economics would be felt for decades afterwards, with the show effectively leading to a shift in the American way of thinking, even beyond the field of the arts. The anniversary show aims to showcase exactly how this shift came to take place, approaching the original exhibition from an historical point of view and complementing it with social, cultural, political and economical references to help put it into context. Together with the artwork, these references help paint a picture of the American scene such as it was at the time of the exhibit, and illustrate its impact on 1913 New York.

A colleague of mine, who is a modern art enthusiast, was even more excited about having chosen this particular time of year to stay at one of his favourite New York city hotels once he learned that the Armory Show at 100 is not the only exhibit art lovers can attend in the upcoming months. A concurrent event, simply dubbed ‘American Modern’, will be on show at the MoMA, the New York Modern Art Museum. Focusing specifically on American artists from the period between 1915 and 1950, the selection will include artwork from names like Georgia O’Keefe, George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Alfred Stieglitz or Andrew Wyeth. Like the Armory Show retrospective, this exhibition aims to portray and contextualize the cultural shift in early 20th-century America, but does so from a more local point of view.

Both shows will be on until late February, so modern art lovers wishing to attend either or both of them should definitely look into the availability of New York city hotels for the upcoming months.



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