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 Academyâ€™s ambitious exhibition of over 250 paintings and sculptures will explore the dramatic impact of the major art movements that emerged in the context of social and political change in Paris.
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 Academyâ€™s ambitious
exhibition of over 250 paintings and sculptures will 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, LÃ©ger and Duchamp, who were joined in Paris by artists from all over the world - Picasso, MirÃ³ and DalÃ 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 cityâ€™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 cafÃ© society, and witnessed the rise of Surrealism. St Germain des PrÃ¨s (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 â€˜60s, culminating in the political upheaval of May 1968.
This major exhibition, which will be travelling to the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, after its showing at the Royal Academy, will chart the astonishing richness and diversity of the visual arts in Paris during these remarkably creative decades, and anticipate many of the concerns that have re-emerged in the art of the 21st century.
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The exhibition has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts. It has been curated by Sarah Wilson of the Courtauld Institute of Art, together with Norman Rosenthal, Exhibitions Secretary, and Ann Dumas, curator, of the Royal Academy of Arts.
The exhibition will be accompanied by two landmark publications. The exhibition catalogue will feature nine essays by leading international scholars - including Kathleen Brunner, Eric de Chassey, Gladys C Fabre, Simonetta Fraquelli, Nicholas Hewitt, Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Kenneth Silver and exhibition curator Sarah Wilson - as well as a fully illustrated timeline. A photographic history Paris Pictured: 1900-1968 by Julian Stallabrass, featuring work by some of the greatest photographers of the period including BrassaÃ¯, Cartier-Bresson and Doisneau, will also be published to accompany the exhibition.
Image: The Passage Jouffroy, Montmartre
Paris: Capital of the Arts 1900-1968 will be complemented by a diverse programme of special events organised by the Royal Academy including concerts, evening and lunchtime lectures, and courses.
The French Institute will also be supporting Paris: Capital of the Arts: 1900-1968 with a programme of cultural events, films and conferences. Invited celebrities and luminaries from the worlds of literature, film and art will talk about how the 1950s and 1960s inspired their work. The full programme will be available from the French Institute in December.
Open to public: Saturday 26 January - 19 April 2002 10am - 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm) Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm)
Â£9 full price; Â£8 concessions; Â£6 full-time students; Â£2.50 12-18 years + Income Support; Â£1.50 8-11 years.
For details of advance booking, call 020 7300 5959 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Academy of Arts Burlington House Piccadilly London WIJ OBD For further press information please email or telephone Caroline Birchall or Sarah Davies on 020 7300 5615/5610 or fax 020 7300 5886.