Modern art show presents the 20th century masters

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Modern art show presents the 20th century masters

Works encompassing many of the major trends in 20th century art, including cubism, fauvism, expressionism and abstract expressionism, will be on view starting tomorrow at the National Museum of Art in Deoksu Palace. More than 110 works by such famous artists as Picasso, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Pollock, Braque, Leger, de Kooning, Warhol and Duchamp will be displayed.
Titled “Encounters with Modernism: Highlights from the Stedlijk Museum and the National Museum of Contemporary Art,” the exhibition includes 71 pieces from the Amsterdam museum and 42 from the National Museum of Korea.
Gaining momentum from 1910 to 1930, abstract art played a significant role in the development of Western art in the 20th century. Artists were no longer interested in visible reality but imbued it with metaphoric and spiritual values. Wassily Kandinsky’s “Two Surroundings” and Piet Mondrian’s “Painting III, Oval Composition (Trees)” are representative of this trend.
Expressionists such as Maurice de Vlaminck and Alexei Jawlensky used strong brushstrokes and primary colors, as seen in Vlaminck’s “Village near Chatou.”
During World War II, a group of artists, mostly in New York, developed very expressive and abstract paintings, leading to the beginning of abstract expressionism. “Action” painters like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and color-field painters like Mark Rothko fall into this category. The piece titled “Reflection of the Big Dipper” is a characteristic work by Pollock, featuring sprayed and dripped paint in a myriad of colors.
Marcel Duchamp became one of the most controversial artists of the 20th century after he placed a urinal in an exhibition with the sign “R. Mutt.” His “Eau et Gaz” is on display.
Modern sculptures, including a vertical array of metal blocks by Donald Judd called “Untitled” and a composition of cedar blocks by Carl Andre titled “Cedar Stator” are also featured in the exhibition.
Works by Korean artists include “Radio Day” by Nam June Paik, “Super Flower” by Choi Jung-hwa and “From Line” by Lee U-fan. In the “Radio Day” installation, televisions are used as an independent visual arts medium to narrate the experience of time, space, light and movement.
The exhibition includes photographs by Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, Thomas Struth and Rineke Dijkstra. Sherman and Longo’s photographs consist of the “reconstruction” of multiple images related to film, fashion and advertising.

by Limb Jae-un

The exhibition continues to Aug. 15. The museum is closed Mondays. Admission is 10,000 won for adults; discounts are available for students and groups. For more information, call 02-2022-0616 or visit
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