march, 2024

202402marAll Day20julAmericans in Paris, Artists Working in Postwar France, 1946–1962Grey Art Gallery, New York University100 Washington Square East

Event Details

Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France, 1946–1962 is the first major exhibition to examine the historical impact of the expatriate art scene in Paris after World War II, and delves into the various circles of artists who made France their home during an era of intense geopolitical realignment. This international loan exhibition showcases more than 130 works by approximately 70 artists, providing a fresh perspective on a moment of creative ferment too often overshadowed by the contemporaneous ascendancy of the New York City art scene. The exhibition covers a 17-year period beginning in 1946, when the U.S. Embassy in Paris began processing applications from ex-service members for the new GI Bill. A monthly stipend of $75 allowed many artists, such as Norman Bluhm, Ed Clark, Sam Francis, Al Held, Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Noland, and Jack Youngerman, along with many whose work has not received the recognition it merits, such as Robert Breer, Harold Cousins, and Shinkichi Tajiri, to opt for a foreign rather than a domestic learning experience. Seasoned artists, such as Beauford Delaney, Claire Falkenstein, Carmen Herrera, Joan Mitchell, Kimber Smith, and Mark Tobey, like the GIs, were drawn to the storied modernist traditions that still flowed from this fabled City of Light. Intense experimentation among these closely knit, if shifting, circles of artists generated a variety of formal inventions and personal artistic styles. Because a good number of the works on view come from early in the artists’ careers, Americans in Paris contributes to the understanding of the development of many of the featured artists—dramatically so in the case of the abstract paintings by William Klein, works that preceded his experiments in photography and his later success as an art and commercial photographer and a filmmaker. Six years in the making, Americans in Paris is curated by the independent scholar Debra Bricker Balken with Lynn Gumpert, and is accompanied by a 300-page illustrated publication.



March 2 (Saturday) - July 20 (Saturday)


Grey Art Gallery, New York University

100 Washington Square East

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