October 22 - November 21, 2005

Leslie Sacks Fine Art
11640 San Vicente Blvd. (Brentwood), Los Angeles, CA 90049
Validated on-site parking.
310.820-9448, Fax 310.2071757
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Hours, Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm

Wassily Kandinsky, Klein Welten I, 1922, color lithograph, 9  x 8 5/8 inches.

As used in art criticism, the term “modern refers to those styles that emerged in the first decade of the twentieth century and dominated cutting edge art until the emergence of Warhol and the pop movement in the early 1960s.
The primary characteristic of modernism is abstraction, be it the expressionistic abstraction of Matisse and Picasso beginning ca. 1905, the more abstract proto-cubist works of Braque and Picasso ca. 1908, or the total break with physical reality that first appeared in Kandinsky’s abstractions ca. 1910. The span of this latter, radically abstract aspect of modernism is represented in this exhibition by Kandinsky’s color lithograph, Kleine Welten (Small World) I from 1922, and Robert Motherwell’s abstract expressionist acrylic and collage, The Black and the Red, 1987.
The origin of the less abstract branch of modernism is represented by Rodin, whose sculpture opened the door to the expressionistic interpretation of the human figure. Henry Moore closes the brackets on this set, as it was he who took figurative sculpture to the absolute limits of representational abstraction. Chagall is along for the ride, a surrealist who reached back to the impressionist and post-impressionist roots of abstraction, incessantly presenting a sunny palette and floral imagery, thereby infuriating critics to this very day by having remained a romantic in the midst the most violent and perhaps most intellectually cynical century in recorded history.    
There was once a modernist vision of a world wherein freedom and science were seen as inevitable solutions to humanity’s social ills. The methodological freedom of expression reflected in this exhibition testifies to the persistent virtues of that vision in a post-modern world. (The term “post-modern” will be discussed in relation to our next exhibition, New Acquisitions, Part Two: Contemporary Art.)

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