Duncan Phillips, the grandson of a steel magnate and son of a businessman, shows an interest in art from an early age, which is encouraged by his family via a modest annual fund dedicated exclusively to acquiring works of art. The sudden death of his father and brother causes him to honour them by publicly exhibiting acquired works in one area of their mansion. Duncan Phillips acquires around three hundred paintings and adds them to the two dozen or so works already in his possession to open the Phillips Memorial Gallery in 1921, thus turning the collection into the first modern art museum in the USA.
Dada and Constructivism, two art movements characterised by having emerged at critical moments in history: World War I and the Russian Revolution. Nevertheless, despite these similarities, they have often been considered by historians as counter-posed given that the first focuses on intuitive thought and the transrational while Constructivism delves into objective beauty and pure forms.
A selection of the best works from the Beyeler Collection is presented for the first time in public. The exhibition in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía brings together previous exhibits devoted to private collections, for instance the Panza di Biumo, Nasher, Sonnabend and Phillips collections.
The exhibition, Masterpieces from the Guggenheim collection. From Picasso to Pollock manages to combine two unusual events: bringing together over one hundred and twenty masterpieces from the history of art in the first half of the twentieth century and bringing out the personalities of the two major collectors, on whom the foundations of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York were made. Thus, this exhibition presents the history of art interwoven between works of art and the story of a collection made up mainly by the legacies of Solomon R. Guggenheim (Philadelphia, 1861-New York, 1949) and his niece Peggy Guggenheim (New York, 1898-Padua, Italy, 1979), to which other funds and acquisitions made over the history of the institution have been added.
The surrealist movement, definitely visible and theoretically debated with the publication of the Manifeste du Surréalisme (1924), written by André Breton (Tinchebray, France, 1896 - Paris, 1966) is a cosmology organised by and about Breton himself. His revolutionary pretensions, which are visible in all his publications, expositions and determinations, are understood as the will of general subversion (through action) in all areas of daily life, starting from poetry and art and moving to ethics, religion and politics. Thus, Surrealism is not only an artistic and literary expression, but a stance against the traditional values of culture and the bourgeois society and against realism in art. He supports the idea of an inner model in all creative acts, of otherness, absolute automatism (applied to poetic and artistic practice) as well as the adoption of meta-artistic methods that come from psychoanalysis, such as hypnosis, which allow the release of human consciousness and a return to a primitive and primordial state of thought.
With the exception of the exhibition entitled Die Maler in der Theater, organised in 1986 in the Scrin Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, there has not been any other devoted to providing a broad and collective vision of the beginnings of the relationship between plastic arts and the sphere of performing arts. Unlike the Frankfurt exhibition, which spanned the whole of the 20th century, El teatro de los pintores en la Europa de las vanguardias (The Theatre of Painters in Avant-garde Europe) concentrates on a specific period: from its early years right up until practically the Thirties, a time when the Russian Revolution, inter-war Paris, Italian Futurism and the Weimar Republic in Germany determined a context that enabled these collaborations.
Carl Einstein (Neuwied, Germany, 1895 - Lestelle-Betharram, France, 1940) is probably the least classical art historians of the twentieth century. Einstein was one of the most relevant and multifaceted personalities of the twentieth century artistic avant-garde. His books, articles and essays were key pieces to the critical study of the avant-garde and the fostering of the study and promotion of art history in the past century. Einstein worked as a novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, art and literature critic as well as the author of a screenplay. However, it is in the field of art history that he is found to be among the most interesting innovators; Apollinaire said he had "one of the most perceptive minds." In his numerous texts he gave expression to the introduction of African art in the West, or the approval of Cubism as a full movement.
The Kunstmuseum Basel is considered one of the finest public municipal museums in the world. The two cornerstones of its collection are the works dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, on one side, and artworks from the 19th century to the 21st , on the other, with the ensemble of the latter making it one of the most significant collections of contemporary art in Europe.