JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
- "A Slight Attack of Dimentia Brought on by Excessive Study of the Much Talked of Cubist Pictures in the International Exhibition in New York."
This is John Sloan's illustration in The Masses summing up the legendary Armory Show of 1913.
Between 17 February and 15 March 1913 there occurred in the huge building at Lex between 25th and 26th streets in NYC--the monumental International Exhibition of Modern Art at the armory of the Sixty-Ninth Regiment, the Fighting 69th (so called by Robert E. Lee), the "Fighting Irish", the famous Armory Show, the Armory Show. This was the first large public exhibition of modern art in America, and even though the 69th regiment had seen five wars (at least, so far as I can tell), the armory itself hadn't really seen one, until 1913, when battle lines were drawn among the Cubists and within and without the confines of the modern" part of modern art, the sensitive honor of the nature of art laid bare.
- Here's a good source for other caricatures of the show: http://armory.nyhistory.org/category/artworks/
Interestingly, Sloan was one of the organizers of the show, as well as a contributor--his artistic orientation was far from the base that made the show so famous. Sloan (1871-1951) was on his own a wonderful artist, of a different school, and one of my favorites depicting city/street urban life of the 1920's.
His cartoon for the radical The Masses is interesting and poignant, and although it pokes fun at the Cubists, it is respectful, and intriguing (in spite of the clever "dimentia"). There were a number of other artful interpretations of the vast modernity of the show that weren't nearly so kind, not understanding or appreciating the Abstract and Cubist work.