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American Modernist Charles Demuth in the City of Lights on View at the Demuth Museum
Charles Demuth, Beach at Étretat, c. 1913, watercolor on paper on board, 13 ¾ x 10 in., Private Collection. Courtesy the Demuth Museum, Lancaster, PA.
LANCASTER, PA.- The Demuth Museum’s new exhibition, "Demuth in the City of Lights," is now on view through August 28, 2011. This exhibition brings together many of Charles Demuth’s works from his travels to Paris in the early twentieth century. American Modernist painter Charles Demuth (1883-1935) soaked up all Paris had to offer by visiting galleries, attending live performances, discussing ideas with fellow artists including Marsden Hartley and Marcel Duchamp, and drinking up the night-life. Upon returning home to Lancaster, Pennsylvania he poured out his art work. Like other foreigners in Paris, Demuth did seek out art instruction and this exhibit features examples of Demuth’s figure drawings of live models from his classes at the Academie Colarossi and the Academie Julien.

This exhibition also highlights Demuth’s pictures of the people and places he saw during his time in France, including portraits of such notables as Igor Stravinsky and Alice B. Toklas, landscapes such as a lively beach scene from the French coastal town of Étretat; and some vibrant watercolors from the many stage performances Demuth attended while in Paris.

Demuth’s first trip to Paris was in 1907, coinciding with a large retrospective of the work of Paul Cézanne at the Salon d’Automne. His longest sojourn was in 1912-14 and he returned one final time in 1921. Demuth’s time spent in Paris was crucial to his development of a mature artistic style and helped him form a wholly American art form later known as Precisionism. Demuth Museum Executive Director Anne M. Lampe notes that “this unique exhibit investigates how Demuth’s artistic and social experiences in Paris contributed to his artistic development. Demuth, like other American artists and writers of his time, felt the urge to take part in the cultural revolution occurring in Paris and this exhibit will allow visitors to understand how Demuth experienced the City of Lights a century ago.”

This exhibit is the Demuth Museum’s largest exhibition about the artwork and life of Charles Demuth for the year and features works drawn from the Demuth Museum’s permanent collection as well as several rarely exhibited pictures from private collections.



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