Modernists Plurielles 1905-1970 • Centre Pompidou – Paris, France





With a new display of its collections, the Centre Pompidou is presenting a fresh overview of modern art from 1905 to 1970.

This exhibition contains an exceptional selection of over 1,000 works by 400 artists from 47 countries. It covers all fields of creation including the plastic arts, photography, film, architecture and design.

Rather than the usual linear viewpoint focused on European movements, it presents a history now extended to include the fringes and outer reaches of art. This new-look journey through the collections is a genuine map of all the connections and cross-influences that have shaped the great adventure of modern art – not to mention movements going against the flow.

« Multiple modernities » is the result of exploratory work carried out by a team of curators and researchers headed by Catherine Grenier, Co-Director of the MNAM/CCI, in charge of research and globalisation. It draws on the often unsuspected riches of the Centre Pompidou’s collections, presenting a new interpretation of the history of modern art.

This global, open-spirited presentation stages unprecedented encounters between the most celebrated masterpieces in the collection – by Matisse, Foujita, Mondrian, Frida Kahlo, Picasso, Kupka and many others – and several unfamiliar works: new acquisitions, donations and pieces brought back into the spotlight for the occasion.

This enriched overview of the history of art opens out to a wide range of countries, immersing visitors in the extraordinary diversity of art forms in the 20th century. Through a presentation shored up by contextual references, « Multiple modernities » evokes the diversity of experiments and artistic worlds explored by the moderns. Several sections of the exhibition thus cast light on artists’ interest in popular arts, modern life and applied arts. The exhibition reveals the sheer variety of the Centre Pompidou collection, one of the world’s most impressive not only in terms of quality, but also because it represents the largest number of countries and artists – a fact not many people know.

For example, works by still little-known pioneers in modern art from the US (Morgan Russell, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Patrick H. Bruce), Latin America (Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Vicente do Rego Monteiro, Julia Codesido), Africa (Irma Stern, Ernest Mancoba, Baya, Marcel Gotene), the Middle East (Mahmoud Mokhtar, Bejat Sadr), and Asia (San Yu, Yun Gee), along with works by the Indian architect

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Raj Rewal, will be on show for the first time.

This many-faceted history of art includes a large number of women artists whose work has been forgotten or relegated to the sidelines. Featuring alongside well-known figures like Natalia Gontcharova, Sonia Delaunay, Frida Kahlo, Tamara de Lempicka and Alicia Penalba are artists who have never or rarely been exhibited before, like Maria Blanchard, Chana Orloff, Pan Yuliang, Baya and Huguette Caland.

Material from the Kandinsky Library’s remarkable documentary collection elucidates this journey through modern times. Art reviews from every continent are displayed alongside the works, shedding informative light on the tour.