08 Jun 2017
The War to End All Wars: Artists and World War I
Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
Reviewed by Arthur Whitman
The work of Johnson curator Nancy Green, "The War to End All Wars" is a characteristic extravaganza. Taken from divers campus collections, the show tackles military as well as art history, with helmets and uniforms meeting art on paper.
Color lithograph recruitment posters, mostly American, veer between levity and jingoism. Tales from the field betray greater depth. Two similar intaglios - by the American Kerr Eby and the British James McBey - use stark chiaroscuro, placing us behind firing artillery.
German modernism is traced from the Romantic pastoral of the pre-war Expressionist groups through the anti-war, anti-bourgeois approach of the Neue Sachlichkeit artists.
American realists John Sloan and Philip Reisman come across as contemporaries of Max Beckmann, George Grosz, and Otto Dix. Reisman’s etching Veterans, World War 1 centers on three doll-like amputees improbably pedaling bicycles in a loop while a city crowd watches. His umbrage is palpable.
|Exhibition||The War to End All Wars: Artists and World War I link|
|Start date||21 Jan 2017|
|End date||11 Jun 2017|
|Presenter||Johnson Museum of Art link|
|Venue||Cornell University, 114 Central Avenue, Ithaca, NY, USA map|
|Image||Otto Dix, Blinder, 1923, lithograph, acquired through the Professor and Mrs. M.H. Abrams Purchase Fund, courtesy of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University|
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