NARRATOR: Welcome to American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe. The exhibition looks closely at a number of artists who worked in the first half of the twentieth century. This was a time when American artists—long in the shadow of Europe—began developing a new confidence. Some of them were inspired by avant-garde European styles such as Cubism and Futurism, but ultimately ended up inventing unique approaches and setting themselves apart from any single movement. Other artists focused instead on the exciting new subject matter that characterized the modern American landscape: the lights, crowds, and speed of the city, or the energetic rhythms of jazz. In the end all of these artists—whether they worked in an abstract vein or a realist one—created their own, highly personal versions of modern art.
The exhibition is drawn from the Whitney’s collection, and consists of the many of artists whose work the Museum holds in the greatest depth. On this audio program, you’ll hear a wide variety of voices—scholars, curators, and contemporary artists. Enjoy the show!