The Exhibition entitled "l'Ecole de Paris" (The School of Paris) covers the period 1904-1924 with 220 works by 82 painters, sculptors and photographers of great diversity such as Chagall, Van Dongen, Picasso, Modigliani, Soutine, Brancusi, Abbott, Archipenko, Brassai, de Chirico, Delaunay, Foujita, Gris, Kisling, Man Ray, Lipchitz, Marcoussis, Pascin, Severini, Rivera, Mondrian, Zadkine, and many other artists of renown. Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris" until 11th March 2001.
The Turn of the Century and the Paris School
This School of Paris Exhibition is beautifully timed to coincide with the present turn of the century. It gives a perfect opportunity to discuss not only the period that was so rich in creativity, but to also reflect on any parallels that can be drawn with the present time.
A century ago the world was living an artistic, scientific, cultural and political revolution that may never be equalled, since the contributing factors could never be present again within such a short lapse of time as to suggest simultaneity. The atmosphere of euphoria that encompassed much human activity at that time largely influenced by leaps forward in scientific and technology fields thanks to people like Darwin, Edison and Einstein was strongly mirrored in the arts, and Paris became the center towards which artists coming from diverse cultures and national backgrounds converged.
They shared a lot in common, starting with rejecting everything traditional and embracing modernity. They were for experimentation as opposed to outworn artistic convention, they professed the ideal of individualism as opposed to nationalism, and they were open to the culture of each other as opposed to the xenophobia that was the mark of most traditionalists.
They grouped their studios around Montmartre and Montparnasse, went to the same cafés (e.g. "Dome", "Select" and "La Rotonde"), introduced each other to art collectors, critics and merchants (such as Daniel Kahnweiler) and had their own in-house poets, philosophers and theoreticians (such as Max Jacob, Appollinaire and Blaise Cendrars) who were for the most part multi-lingual and multi-cultural.