Three American art exhibitions from the 1960's to today open at the Musée d'art moderne Saint-Étienne Métropole

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Three American art exhibitions from the 1960's to today open at the Musée d'art moderne Saint-Étienne Métropole
Peter Halley, Into the Storm, 2009. Acrylique, acrylique Day-Glo & Roll-a-Tex sur toile, 233.5 x 238 cm© Courtesy Galerie Xippas.

SAINT-PRIEST-EN-JAREZ.- For the third edition of the Festival Saint-Étienne Nouveau Siècle, the Musée d’art moderne and the Opéra Théâtre de Saint-Étienne come together for the first time to present The New York Moment. In this cross-arts season of visual arts, music and dance, the two institutions showcase post-war American creation, with a focus on the 1970s art scene in New York. The New York Moment is a rare opportunity to bring together key figures in this influential movement such as Joel Shapiro, Peter Halley and Philip Glass.

As well as presenting its renowned collection of historic American art, which ranges from the 1950s to the 1970s, the Musée d’art moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole welcomes three generations of artists, with three exhibitions presenting key figures from the contemporary New York art scene: Joel Shapiro, Peter Halley and ten young artists from the city. These exhibitions aim to introduce the public to a landmark period in the history of American art through three generations of artists working with different media.

In the museum’s central hall, Joel Shapiro, a pivotal figure in contemporary American art, whose work can be found in numerous public collections in the United States and abroad, constructs a subtle dialogue between two different aspects of his work. On the one hand, monumental sculptures made of geometrical elements, and on the other hand, archetypal objects that examine the universal concept of home, a home that is ruined by history and altered by time. Shapiro’s favourite creative methods come into play in these singular, ephemeral works, whose smooth surfaces show no trace of human intervention.

Peter Halley is one of the most emblematic artists in his generation. He takes pride of place in the history of contemporary painting as one of the latest scions in the line of American abstract art. For Peter Halley, geometry is a metaphor for contemporary society. His large-format paintings emphasize the enduring hold that mathematical models, information technology systems and communication fluxes have on modern cities, social structures and on all aspects of our life in a post-industrial society. Pop Art and minimalism appear as a source of inspiration for Halley, informing his reflection on the media, technology and consumer culture.

The exhibition Young New York artists provides a pathway into this dynamic artistic scene, through the works of ten young artists who are all New Yorkers by birth or by choice. This rich selection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos and performance art provides a rich overview of the New York contemporary art scene.

The Musée d’art moderne also presents its collection of historic American art from the 1960s and 1970s, with a strong predominance of the Colorfield, Hard-Edge and Primary Structures currents alongside minimalist art. Through works by Morris Louis, Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Robert Morris and many more, the public is introduced to a movement that left a lasting imprint on the art world.

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