"The Making of Americans" Exhibition

CUNY Graduate Center

poster for "The Making of Americans" Exhibition

This event has ended.

"The Making of Americans" takes an innovative approach to the modern narrative of art history, particularly in the controversial period directly following World War II. The presentation at the James includes a visual investigation of the 1958-9 exhibition "New American Painting," which toured to eight cities in Europe and was curated by Dorothy Miller, Alfred Barr’s assistant at the Museum of Modern Art. As taken from the exhibition catalogue, paintings from the exhibition are recreated including work by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman.

In order to contextualize and investigate the significance of Miller’s historic exhibition in shaping the new identity of American art at the time, the exhibition at the James will also explore important precursors: Alfred Barr’s original layout of the Museum of Modern Art, the Armory Show, Katherine Dreier and Marcel Duchamp’s Societe Anonyme, and Gertrude Stein’s Salon de Fleurus, a collection considered to be the prototype of modern American collections of European art. A mixture of paintings and artifacts, the overall exhibition will anchor its historical inquiry, asking how postwar American art was understood when it was contemporary, and finally, what were the motivations—artistic, cultural, and political—and how they differ from the narrative that has been constructed since then? In collaboration with the Museum of American Art, Berlin.



from March 09, 2011 to July 02, 2011

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