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The Decades Project: 1920-1929

Fernand Léger (French, 1881-1955), Femme à genou, 1921, oil on canvas, 92.1 x 60.3 cm (36 1/4 x 23 3/4 in.), Purchase, Walter C. Laidlaw Endowment, 1963 © Estate of Fernand Léger / SODRAC (2016).

Exhibition dates

September 13, 2016 – February 26, 2017

The Decades Project: 1920-1929 is the third in a planned series of installations organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra designed to bring together visual art and music to reveal how artists and musicians expressed the dynamism and exhilaration of their times.

This autumn and winter visitors will have the opportunity to view Femme à genou (1921) by painter Fernand Léger while listening to Boléro (1928) by composer Maurice Ravel. Working in France in the wake of the devastation wrought by World War I, these artists felt obliged to return to order with clear and precise compositions.

These works were made in the 1920s, a decade when Western Europe and especially France experienced relative peace and a resurgence of industrialization.  The Paris Peace Conference and the founding of the League of Nations in 1920 signalled political optimism, while unprecedented industrial growth promised access to the future via new technologies such as automobiles, radio, sound cinema and airplanes.

Listen to Maurice Ravel's Boléro:

Maurice Ravel (born Ciboure, France, 1875; died Paris, France, 1937)
Boléro (1928)
Performed by the Lyon National Orchestra (Leonard Slatkin)
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.

On November 9 and 11, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performs Ravel's Boléro at Roy Thomson Hall, where Kenneth Brummel, the Art Gallery of Ontario's assistant curator of modern art, will talk about art and music in the 1920s.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario in partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

This exhibition is included with general admission.

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