America's Cool Modernism

23 March–22 July 2018

Exhibition Overview

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold

This will be the first exhibition to explore the "cool" in American art in the early 20th century, from experiments in abstraction by artists like Georgia O'Keefe, Arthur Dove and Paul Strand to the strict, clean precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth.

Showcasing significant examples of American art produced during the roaring 1920s and Depression-era 1930s, some for the very first time in the UK, the works on display share a smooth, crisp, clean appearance and a cool, impersonal treatment, an apparent detachment. They evoke a world in which human beings have been removed or substituted.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has supported this exhibition with major loans, in addition to works from the Terra Collection and other international collections. This exhibition is organized by the Ashmolean Museum and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

(Photo: Charles Demuth, I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, 1928, oil, graphite, ink, and gold leaf on paperboard, 35 1/2 x 30 in., Photograph: © Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

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