This beautifully written and richly illustrated catalogue, featuring contributions by leading scholars, illuminates in new ways how critical the first wave of American modernists was to the creation and development of an avant-garde visual culture in the United States and Europe during the twentieth century. The history is told through the collection of Edward and Deborah Shein, one of the nation’s foremost private collections of early American modernist works. Formed with remarkable acumen over the past decade, the Shein Collection is distinguished by its rigorous focus on prominent artists from the first generation of American modernists and by the extraordinarily high quality of the paintings, sculptures, and drawings it contains.
Among the twenty works explored in detail here are exceedingly rare objects such as Painting (Still Life), c. 1919, by Patrick Henry Bruce, one of only twenty-five extant works from Bruce’s brilliant late still-life series; Charles Demuth’s iconic precisionist painting of American industry, End of the Parade: Coatesville, Pa., 1920; Marsden Hartley’s Pre-War Pageant, 1913, a singular precursor to his famous German officer series; Man Ray’s seminal canvas, Legend, 1916; a machine image by Morton Schamberg, Painting V1, 1916; and a recently discovered large-scale pair of cast-concrete works by the sculptor John Storrs, Auto Tower, Industrial Forms, c. 1922. Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Georgia O’Keeffe, the trio of artists most consistently championed by Alfred Stieglitz, are represented by classic masterpieces. In addition, helping to bridge the history of American art before and after World War II are the late master-works The Written Sea, 1952, by Marin; Composition around White, 1959, by Charles Sheeler; Unfinished Business, 1962, by Stuart Davis; as well as the 1964 version of Fresh Widow, based on the original 1920 work by the omnipresent provocateur of American modernism, Marcel Duchamp. Important paintings and drawings by Arthur B. Davies, Edwin Dickinson, Preston Dickinson, Stanton Macdonald-White, Alfred Maurer, Joseph Stella, and Max Weber are also examined.
160 pages, 23 duotones, 78 color | 9.5 x 11.25 inches
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The Early Modernists in America
Held in conjunction with the exhibition American Modernism: The Shein Collection, this public symposium provides an analysis of the paintings, sculptures, and drawings created by the first generation of American avant-garde artists. In this podcast recorded on November 6, 2010, noted scholars Michael C. FitzGerald, Didier Ottinger, Debra Bricker Balken, Carol Troyen, and Jay Bochner present illustrated lectures that chronicle the advent of the modernist movement.