Modern art as we know it began in the latter half of the nineteenth century, colored by the emergence of Manet and the Impressionists and many other avant-garde movements. The background to those developments includes the increasing internationalization of the art world, with art-related people, works, and information crossing borders and continents. How, in that context, have artists, from the modern period on, amidst influences and relationships of unprecedented diversity, decided on and pursued their own artistic ideals and originality?
This exhibition addresses crossings and reforms—transformations—by surveying European, Japanese, and American art from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of World War II. It focuses on four painters, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Fujishima Takeji, Paul Klee, and Zao Wou-Ki, who were stimulated to innovate in their art by contacts and conversations with different, sometimes alien, presences. Through eighty works of art, including two new acquisitions, and reference materials, this exhibition spotlights their transformative approaches to their creative work.