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American Paintings: Ashcan & Modernist

DATES March 01, 1997 through June 29, 1997
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  • February 1, 1997 Paintings from the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s collection of early 20th Century American masters such as John Sloan and Marsden Hartley will comprise American Paintings: Ashcan and Modernist, A Centennial Exhibition, which opens at the Museum on March 1 and continues through June 8, 1997. This installation will be in the Museum’s Lobby Gallery while the fifth-floor American painting and sculpture galleries are closed for roof renovations.

    The installation will explore the broad range of styles, artistic developments, and subjects used by early 20th Century American artists. Urban nightlife is depicted in Haymarket (1907) by John Sloan, who, along with his fellow members of the artist’s group called The Eight, was known for his realistic subjects and anti-academic convictions. Also included in the installation will be Pennsylvania Station Excavation (1909) by George Bellows, who combined depictions of urban life and narrative passages with an abstract sensibility of color and composition. Marsden Hartley’s elegant modernist still-life of cocktails, Handsome Drinks (1916), employs text and solid fields of bright color in response to the cubist collage aesthetic. Wall-Painting (1936-44) by George L.K. Morris is entirely non-representational, with interlocking flat shapes reinforcing the two-dimensional space of the picture plane, and it demonstrates the sustained influence of European modernist styles on American art produced in the second quarter of the century.

    Considered on[e] of the most important in the world, the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s collection of American painting and sculpture is scheduled for reinstallation in the fifth-floor galleries in the fall of 1998.

    American Paintings: Ashcan and Modernist
    is one exhibition in a series that celebrates the Centennial of the Beaux-Arts building on Eastern Parkway that is occupied by the Museum and the 175th anniversary of the founding of the collections as the Apprentices['] Library Association.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1995 - 2003. 1997, 041-42.
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