The first decades of the twentieth century witnessed a schism in the arts as painters and sculptors in Europe and the Americas began to break with academic traditions.

Rallying under the banner of expressive freedom and an independence from established institutions, these artists began to explore new social realities, and the even more radical concept of a purely abstract art. Adding to this transatlantic transmission of ideas was an unprecedented internationalism. A new era of travel and communication would, for example, lead Mexican modernist Diego Rivera to Paris. Conversely, wars, suffering, and the dream of a new life led ever more European artists to emigrate to the United States.

Tracing a trajectory through a century of art, from the School of Paris to Surrealism and Pop, the paintings and sculptures on view do not present a traditional survey divided by national schools. Instead, this display combines artists from Europe, the United States, and Latin America to highlight the international aspects of modernism. In so doing, the installation showcases the special strengths of the Museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art together with a select group of loans.