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The Art

Exhibition dates

November 30, 2013 to March 2, 2014


We live in the digital age and, granted, our lives have been significantly transformed in recent years by mobile technology and the internet. But consider the world-changing inventions — the telephone, telegraph, radio, automobile, airplane, subway, phonograph, movie camera, typewriter and X-ray — that provided the backdrop for artists of the Great Upheaval. In just a few short years, machines in all their guises turned traditional life upside down.

Beginning around 1910, the avant-garde invented a new language of art to express the realities of intense industrialization, social and political turmoil and the pace and energy of the modern metropolis. From St. Petersburg to Paris, artists experimented in a mood of adventure, excitement and optimism. The results shook the art world to its core. Using the latest forms of communication, they created a pan-European network of innovative thinkers that resulted in the most radical revolution in Western art in 500 years.

The Great Upheaval: Modern Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 offers a rare opportunity to stand face to face with foundational modern artworks that fuelled an artistic revolution and have shaped the work of generations of artists ever since.

Below, learn more about three key artworks from the exhibition from AGO interpretive planner David Wistow.

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