New York Collects: Drawings and Watercolors, 1900–1950
May 20 through August 29, 1999
Pablo Picasso, Vasily Kandinsky, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock are among the eighty-two artists whose works were on view in this major loan exhibition celebrating the taste and achievement of New York's private collectors. Featuring over 140 works, New York Collects: Drawings and Watercolors, 1900–1950 followed the development of the medium on both sides of the Atlantic during the first half of the twentieth century—a period characterized by unprecedented stylistic variety.
This milestone exhibition—the Morgan's first devoted exclusively to twentieth-century art—served as the centerpiece of the institution's yearlong celebration of its seventy-fifth anniversary. It also underscored the Morgan's commitment to the acquisition, study, and presentation of drawings of all periods.
Beginning where earlier Morgan exhibitions had left off, New York Collects examined the ways in which the concept of drawing changed over the past century and emphasized the important role it continued to play in the artistic process. The exhibition opened with works executed shortly after the turn of the century by Paul Cézanne and Pierre Bonnard; explored the immeasurable contributions of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, includes drawings by the Futurists Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, and Gino Severini; and contained numerous works by artists associated with Expressionism in Germany and Austria. Surrealism was represented by the work of such pivotal figures as René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy, and Joan Miró, while the drawings of Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian traced the development of their distinct brands of abstraction.
America's contribution to early-twentieth-century draftsmanship was revealed in works by George Bellows, Edward Hopper, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Charles Sheeler, and others. The exhibition concluded with a selection of sheets by Louise Bourgeois, Sam Francis, Lucio Fontana, John Graham, Arshile Gorky, de Kooning, Barnett Newman, and Pollock, among others.
Sponsorship of this exhibition is provided by Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc. The catalogue was underwritten by Fay Elliott.
Additional support has been received from Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky, the Anne H. Bass Foundation, Acquavella Galleries, Aaron I. Fleischman, Judy and Michael Steinhardt, The Frances and Benjamin Benenson Foundation, Inc., the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Arthur Ross Foundation, The Philip and Lynn Straus Foundation, Inc., and the Franklin Jasper Walls Lecture Fund.