Painting in Paris, from American Collections: January 19 to February 16, 1930

By Museum Of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

The varied panorama of painting in Paris can scarcely be illustrated by one exhibition. Among the thousands of artists working in the French capital almost every nation is represented. They would form what might be called a great international school were it not for the fact that the word school would be rendered meaningless by such innumerable diversities and oppositions of taste and ideal.

Ten years ago it might have been possible to generalize about modern art. In fact even at present there are some who are courageous--or blind-- enough to declare that modern art has one dominant characteristic such as the belief in pure self-expressions, or an exclusive interest in form, or a contempt for natural appearances. But the truth is that for several years strong artistic movements have militated specifically against individual self-expression; others have ignored entirely the problem of formal organization; while still others have maintained that the precise imitation of realistic detail is decidedly worthy of the artist's effort. Contemporary art in Paris, as in Berlin or New York, is not however chaotic, it is merely so extraordinarily complex that it defies generalization.

The present exhibition is by no means a cross-section of painting in Paris but it does include several of the foremost living painters and twenty others who are either interesting as individuals or who represent new phases of recent European art which are not yet very familiar in America.

Any attempt to classifiy modern artists must lead to a treacherous simplification. But it may not be too misleading to suggest a chronology and some description of terms, trusting that the paintings themselves will contradict inevitable error.

If any movement can be said to be out of fashion it is impressionism which reached its creative climax fifty years ago and has now degenerated in the hands of a second generation who are already middle aged academi-

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Painting in Paris, from American Collections: January 19 to February 16, 1930
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Acknowledgments 7
  • Foreword 11
  • Catalog 17
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