Artist: Stuart Davis (1892-1964), Title: Indian Family, Dated: 1923, Medium: Oil on canvas board, Collection of: Jan T. and Marcia Vilcek, Promised Gift to the Vilcek Foundation

Artist: Stuart Davis (1892-1964), Title: Indian Family, Dated: 1923, Medium: Oil on canvas board, Collection of Jan T. and Marcia Vilcek, Promised Gift to the Vilcek Foundation

Our communications intern Breanna attended the opening of the Phoenix Art Museum’s latest exhibit, From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from Vilcek Foundation Collection. She offered to provide her perspective with The Hot Sheet’s readers. Enjoy!

Art has a way of defining history. It can take you on an adventure, tell a story from a new perspective and highlight aspects of history you never knew existed.

The new collection on display at the Phoenix Art Museum titled “From New York to Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from Vilcek Foundation Collection” does just that. It takes its viewers on a journey through time, demonstrating both simple and landmark occurrences from the past through the eyes of artists who experienced it.

This collection consists of over 60 masterworks of American Modernism and ranges from the early 1900s to the Post-War era. It features paintings, sculptures and drawings from well known artists such as Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and Georgia O’Keeffe along with many other artists from the early modern era.

Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants themselves from the former Czechoslovakia, created The Vicek Foundation with the goal of raising public awareness about the contributions of immigrants to the arts, sciences and culture in the United States. This collection of paintings and sculptures only goes to amplify this goal.

With artists from a variety of different backgrounds coming together to demonstrate the American response to European modernism, the influences of immigration and different cultures to American art are clearly visible.

Artist: George Copeland Ault (1891-1948), Title: View from Brooklyn, Dated: 1927, Medium: Oil on canvas, Collection of Jan T. and Marcia Vilcek, Promised Gift to the Vilcek Foundation

Artist: George Copeland Ault (1891-1948), Title: View from Brooklyn, Dated: 1927, Medium: Oil on canvas, Collection of Jan T. and Marcia Vilcek, Promised Gift to the Vilcek Foundation

The artwork featured in this exhibit explores the origins of American Modernism and is separated into four highlighted themes including Nature’s Great Unfolding, Town and Country, the Cubist Impulse and Our Western Roots.

Walking through the exhibit, visitors can witness the collection as it moves from New York to New Mexico with both urban and rural influences depicted in different works of art. Emphasis in this collection is given to American cubism, nature-based abstracts and regional modernism from the American Southwest.

Visitors can see art representing nature, interpretations of form and movement, the urban and rural influences as well as expression that came after the First World War among other themes.

To top it off, the exhibit also features another separate collection provided by the Phoenix Art Museum made to complement the American Modernism collection provided by the Vilcek Foundation.

The best part about this exhibit is being able to see history though the eyes of artists who experienced it, with unique interpretations of nature, culture, spirituality and events spanning through time and spattered on canvas—or sculpted into stone.

Every piece in this exhibit is overwhelmingly powerful and interesting, above anything else. It breaks the rules of traditional academic art and turns it into something a little out of the ordinary and completely unique—something everyone should witness.

The exhibit is on display through September 7.

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-257-1222