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Posing Modernity at Wallach Art Gallery

Frédéric Bazille. Young Woman with Peonies, 1870. Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 x 29 1/2 in. Courtesy the National Gallery, Washington, DC

The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University and the Musée d’Orsay are partnering to present an exhibition entitled Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today in New York and Le Modèle noir, de Géricault à Matisse in Paris. The exhibition will be on view at the Wallach Art Gallery from October 24, 2018 to February 10, 2019, and will then be at the Musée d'Orsay from March 26 to July 14, 2019.

Curated by Denise Murrell, PhD, Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Wallach Art Gallery, the show takes a multi-disciplinary approach that combines the history of art and the history of ideas. It explores aesthetic, political, social and racial issues as well as the imagery unveiled by the representation of black figures in visual arts, from the abolition of slavery in France (1794) to the modern day. Designed to provide a long-term perspective, the exhibition looks more particularly at three key periods: the era of abolition (1794-1848), the new painting era up to the Matisse’s discovery of the Harlem Renaissance and the early 20th century avant-garde movement and the successive generations of post-war and contemporary artists.

The exhibition primarily focuses on the question of models, and therefore the dialogue between the artist who paints, sculpts, engraves or photographs and the model who poses. It notably explores the way in which the representation of black subjects in major works by Théodore Géricault, Charles Cordier, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse, as well as the photographs of Nadar and Carjat, evolved.

More information on The Wallach Art Gallery website and on the Musée d'Orsay website.

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