ModernStarts: Places

Oct 28, 1999–Mar 14, 2000


Vincent van Gogh. The Starry Night. Saint Rémy, June 1889. Oil on canvas, 29 × 36 1/4ʺ (73.7 × 92.1 cm). Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. Photo © 1999 The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.

ModernStarts: Places demonstrates the broad interpretations of site, both real and imagined. Among the exhibition themes is Seasons and Moments, an evocative installation devoted to the epic landscape with works such as Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, Joan Miró’s The Birth of the World, Cy Twombly’s Four Seasons, and Vasily Kandinsky’s so-called Four Seasons, shown for the first time in a rotunda gallery as intended by the artist. Other exhibitions will explore themes such as: Changing Visions: French Landscape 1880–1920, as interpreted by artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Georges-Pierre Seurat and accompanied by documentary photographs of the views depicted; and Landscape as Retreat: Gauguin to Nolde, a presentation of woodcuts by Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, and others on the broad theme of escape from urban life. These are contrasted with galleries devoted to an exploration of the urban realm, with works in various mediums. These range from a fin-de-siècle environment of furniture and objects, in Hector Guimard and the Art Nouveau Interior, to a documentation of the modern world in a largely photographic exhibition, Rise of the Modern World, that reveals the dynamism and underbelly of urban life and the industrial age. Unreal City, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and photographs, depicts the city, both interior and exterior, as a site of condensed and disrupted space, modern anxiety, and destabilized points of reference, and includes works by Giorgio de Chirico, Piet Mondrian, Henri Matisse, Lyonel Feininger, and Fernand Léger. Places includes a film series, The American Place: Landscape in the Early Western.


  • ModernStarts: People Places Things Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 360 pages
  • Places Out of print, 18 pages
  • Press release 9 pages

Installation images

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