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MoMA

EXHIBITIONS

The Modern Myth: Drawing Mythologies in Modern Times

March 10–August 30, 2010

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Throughout history, mythologies have provided explanations for humankind’s existential surroundings through collective beliefs and shared verbal and visual narratives. Representational visual artists have long looked to ancient mythologies as a thematic repertoire, a tradition both preserved and evolved by modern and contemporary artists who continue to address and reinterpret mythological references in their works. This exhibition addresses the artistic traces of these motifs in modern art, as well as the practice of modern myth-making, through a nonlinear, thematic representation of works, following a rough chronology from 1797 to 2008. Among the artists represented are Matthew Barney, Joseph Beuys, Paul Cézanne, Enrique Chagoya, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Willem de Kooning, Juan Downey, Max Ernst, Adolph Gottlieb, Arshile Gorky, Wifredo Lam, Matta, Ana Mendieta, Wangechi Mutu, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Jackson Pollock, Odilon Redon, Mark Rothko, Jim Shaw, and Andy Warhol.

Organized by Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings, with Luis Pérez-Oramas, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art.
Mark Rothko. <i>Archaic Idol.</i> 1945. Ink and gouache on paper, 21 7/8 x 30" (55.6 x 76.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Joan and Lester Avnet Collection, 1978. © 2000 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Mark Rothko. Archaic Idol. 1945. Ink and gouache on paper, 21 7/8 x 30" (55.6 x 76.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Joan and Lester Avnet Collection, 1978. © 2000 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York