he Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (MAM) and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao present a selection of nearly seventy masterpieces by significant artists that illustrates the history of the MAM collection while offering an overview of the avant-garde artistic movements born in Paris during the first decades of the twentieth century.
The MAM was built on the occasion of the historic Exposition Internationale (1937) to be a home to the collections of modern art of the city of Paris, which expanded rapidly in the following years thanks to major acquisitions of works by important artists of the Parisian art scene. However, MAM was only formalized as a museum in 1961. Patrons were an integral source of support for this project, especially Dr. Maurice Girardin, whose museum bequest of 1953 became the nucleus for the collection of modern masters, including the Fauves, Cubists, and representatives of the School of Paris.
Organized chronologically over three successive sections, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the period following World War II, the selection of works in this exhibition presents an historical perspective of the main protagonists involved in these pivotal artistic movements. The exhibition begins with representative works of Fauvism and Cubism, emphasizing those artists whose audacious freedom revolutionized art and changed traditional perception of landscape, human figure, and still life; followed by the generation of international artists who gave birth to the School of Paris during the interwar period; and finally a presentation of artists involved with Surrealism, which was led by the poet André Breton since its founding in 1924 in its historical home of Paris.
Through the present day, MAM continues its dynamic approach to acquisitions through its artistic and cultural policy of gathering exemplary representations of historical avant-garde movements. Many of these works are presented in Bilbao for the first time in this exhibition.
Curated by Fabrice Hergott, director of the Musée d´Art Moderne de Paris in cooperation with Hélène Leroy, curator of the Musée d´Art Moderne de Paris, and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, curator of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Exhibition organized by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Paris Musées

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