You probably know that dinner party question: if you could go back and live in any time throughout history which era would you choose? A pretty popular answer is 1920s Paris – and rightly so. The French capital was a magnet for international artists, authors and thinkers, eager to find a place with like-minded people where they could express themselves after the horror of the First World War.
This magical and experimental era – known as Les Années Folles (the ‘mad years’) – is being celebrated with a major exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi that features more than 80 works from around 50 avant-garde artists including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani, Juan Gris and others who lived in Paris between 1900 and 1939. The beautiful image above is Cavaleiros (Riders) by Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso.
Modernism is an art movement that specifically refers to work produced in the early decades of the 20th century. The Tate Gallery in London explains that Modernism “sought a new alignment with the experience and values of modern industrial life. Building on late 19th century precedents, artists around the world used new imagery, materials and techniques to create artworks that they felt better reflected the realities and hopes of modern societies.”
The exhibition in Abu Dhabi is held in partnership with Centre Pompidou in Paris. Christian Briend, chief curator and head of modern collections at Musée National d’art Moderne, said the show in Abu Dhabi is “ambitious,” and added, “it brings together a number of exquisite masterpieces by some of the most famous artists of the 20th century. Of particular meaning to me in this project is the fact that we are showcasing the contributions of foreigners, starting with Picasso who dominates the art of this time and many others, making this an exhibition about cosmopolitanism and its virtues.”
Rendezvous in Paris: Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani & Co. (1900-1939); September 18 – December 7