Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger, and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique
At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa
November 2, 2011–January 16, 2012
At the Musée Picasso, Antibes
February 16–May 20, 2012
An extraordinary episode in the history of European modernism is the alliance between the avant-garde and the antique. Juxtaposing twentieth-century works with ancient objects, this major international loan exhibition focuses on how four eminent artists reinvented and transformed antiquity between 1905 and 1935. Classicizing creations such as de Chirico's enigmatic piazzas, Picasso's postcubist women, Léger's mechanized nudes, and Picabia's "transparencies" made the arts of antiquity modern. The Getty Villa—a reconstruction of an ancient Roman house—and its antiquities collection provide a unique environment to experience modern art in relation to the classical past.