“Modernism:  The Aesthetic of Change”
February 17 – April 1, 2006
Opening Reception:  Friday, February 17, 6-9pm

Forum Gallery
8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90046
Contact: Niccolò Brooker/Marvella Muro
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Man Ray, Painting, 1918-1924, oil on canvas, 18 x 15 inches.

Los Angeles, California – Forum Gallery presents the exhibition Modernism: The Aesthetic of Change from February 18th through April 1st, 2006, with an opening reception on Friday, February 17th from 6-9 pm.  Reflective of much curatorial thought and effort, the exhibition highlights the most significant Modernist movements in the first half of 20th century America, providing examples of choice paintings, sculpture and works on paper.  
One of the most significant early twentieth century works in the exhibition is Man Ray’s 1918 Painting, recently loaned by Forum Gallery to a museum retrospective of this Modernist pioneer’s early oeuvre.  A sophisticated innovator equally acclaimed for his photography as for his painting, Man Ray established a close relationship with the avant-garde dealer Alfred Steiglitz, the artistic conceptual genius Marcel Duchamp, and the taste-making collector Walter Arensberg, and absorbed the incalculably revolutionary effects of the 1913 Armory Show with its dizzying array of European Modernism.  The result was his homage to Cubism in the form of Painting -- a masterpiece as bold in its palette knife execution as complex in its spatial integration of foreground elements with receding planes.
John Marin and Max Weber, two other major American Modernists of the Stieglitz circle, are also represented in Modernism: The Aesthetic of Change.  Marin’s watercolor Street Movement, dating from the mid 1930s and painted in the artist’s favorite medium, is a dynamic expression of the simultaneity of action in urban New York.  Weber’s 1912 still life titled Blue Vase is equally quiet and motionless, executed in pastel whose delicate qualities Weber mastered early in his career.
Precisionism in America is represented by a meticulous 1918 watercolor of an Iris by the leading figure of the movement, Charles Demuth. Captivated both by the mechanical as well as the organic, Demuth’s floral watercolors such as Iris are amongst the most purely refined and perfectly arranged of their time.  Precisionist Henry Billings’ monumental White Boats from 1929 is a movement defining painting not only for its grandness of scale and acute delimitation of forms, but for its bold commentary on industrialization, standardization and the emotionless objectivity they foster.
The exhibition explores Modernism in California with works by Helen Lundeberg, Lorser Feitselson, Oskar Fishinger, Karl Benjamin, and Knud Merrild. Fishinger’s 1934 non-objective Squares far predate the work of Josef Albers and is in stark contrast to Merrild’s biomorphic 1935 oil titled Mirage, as Lundeberg’s planar Desert Road contrasts with Feitelson’s phantasmagoric Magical Forms.  

Also presented are dimensional abstract constructions by Charles Green Shaw, Ilya Bolotwsky, Nikolai Kasak, Eli Bornstein, Sidney Gordin, and Irene Rice Pereira, whose genesis is the essential beauty of order, reflective of the dynamism of architecture and industrial design, and the purity of color and light.
Other artists represented in the exhibition are Hugo Robus, whose 1922 equestrian plaster sculpture The General commands great presence, Alexander Archipenko, Milton Avery, Romare Bearden, Emil Bisttram, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Burchfield, Hans Burkhardt, Konrad Cramer, Ralston Crawford, Preston Dickinson, Arthur Dove, Lyonel Feininger, John Graham, Robert Gwathmey, Marsden Hartley, Béla Kadar, Walt Kuhn, Alfred Maurer, George L.K. Morris, Eli Nadelman, Jules Pascin, Joseph Stella, John Storrs, and Abraham Walkowitz.

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