GBP £39.95



ISBN: 978-1-907804-80-9

232 Pages

273 x 222 mm (8 ¾ x 10 ¾ in)

105 colour illustrations

In association with the Smithsonian American Art Museum

November 2015


The thirty-three artists presented in this volume reflect many of the defining moments in the broad swathe of art we now call modernism

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In eighty-eight striking paintings and sculptures, Crosscurrents explores nuances of modernism—that new art advanced by Picasso, Léger, and others in Europe and by O’Keeffe, Stella, Marin, and Nadelman in the United States more than a hundred years ago. Private collectors Sam Rose and Julie Walters share artworks that capture modernism as it moved from early abstractions by O’Keeffe, to Picasso and Pollock in mid-century, to pop riffs on contemporary culture by Roy Lichtenstein, Wayne Thiebaud, and Tom Wesselmann that illustrate the complexity and energy of a distinctly American modernism.

An introductory essay by Virginia Mecklenburg sketches the exchanges that quickened this artistic transformation. Each work is superbly illustrated and discussed within the context of the artist’s career and concerns. These insightful explorations of thirty-three inventive artists illuminate the wider arc of modernism.

Virginia M. Mecklenburg is chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her publications include African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Movement, and Beyond (2012), Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (2010), and Modern Masters: American Abstraction at Midcentury (2008).
Karen Lemmey has been curator of sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum since 2012.
Joann Moser is the deputy chief curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her most recent exhibition was The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi.
E. Carmen Ramos has been curator for Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum since 2010. The catalogue for her most recent exhibition, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, received a first place Award for Excellence by the Association of Art Museum Curators in 2014.

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword by Elizabeth Broun
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Breaking the Rules by Virginia M. Mecklenburg
  4. Intimations of Intimacy
  5. Nature and Culture
  6. Myth and Metaphor
  7. Issues and Affirmations
  8. A Material World
  9. Double Takes
  10. Index