Art Gallery of Alberta

The ‘Icons of Modernism’ Lecture

The ‘Icons of Modernism’ Lecture with Prof. Steven Harris
Tensions and Convergences in the Art of Last Century or, Peggy Guggenheim’s Earrings


Photo Credit: Tandie McLeod

Wednesday, February 29, 7 pm
Ledcor Theatre, Art Gallery of Alberta
$15/$10 AGA Members
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At the opening of her gallery Art of This Century in October 1942, Peggy Guggenheim wore an earring by Yves Tanguy and another by Alexander Calder, to show that she supported both abstract and surrealist tendencies in modern art; and there were surrealist and abstract rooms, each designed differently, in her gallery. These different tendencies in twentieth-century art, and others like Dada, were often in conflict with one another historically, but in the catalogue for her collection, edited by Guggenheim with the help of André Breton, they were brought together in a way that minimized the tensions between them. The talk will focus on the real differences between these and other art movements of the twentieth century, as well as on what brought them together in the space of a gallery and a catalogue in wartime New York.

Steven Harris is Associate Professor in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture, and Associate Chair (Graduate Studies and Research) at the University of Alberta. He is the author of articles on surrealism, postwar abstraction and Fluxus. His book, Surrealist Art and Thought in the 1930′s: Art, Politics and the Psyche, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2004.