CG: Exhibition of Early Modern Nordic Painting Opens at Scandinavia House, NYC

July 22, 2011 - by NYC News Desk
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The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) presents Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912, featuring forty-seven works by some of the foremost Nordic artists working at the turn of the twentieth century. Created on the occasion of ASF's centennial, Luminous Modernism contemplates and updates the first exhibition ever presented by the organization, the highly influential Exhibition of Contemporary Scandinavian Art 1912-1913. That show included 150 works by many of the leading artists working in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden at the turn of the twentieth century, among them some-such as Edvard Munch, Vilhelm Hammershøi, and Carl Larsson-who would later receive far-reaching recognition. After opening to great critical success in New York-two months before the famous Armory Show of 1913-the exhibition traveled to Buffalo, Boston, Toledo, and Chicago to record crowds, introducing the North American public to Nordic modernism.

Luminous Modernism includes work not only by Munch, Hammershøi, and others from the original exhibition, but also by artists working in Finland and Iceland, thereby illustrating the richness of artistic expression throughout the Nordic nations at that time. Moreover, in revisiting the 1912 exhibition, the current show offers a critical assessment of the dialogue between North American and European artists at the turn of the twentieth century, staking a claim for Scandinavian art as a model for such early modern painters as Marsden Hartley and Canada's Group of Seven.

Luminous Modernism, the last of ASF´s three centennial exhibitions, is organized by an international team of scholars and curators headed by Patricia G. Berman, Professor of Art at Wellesley College and the University of Oslo.


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