Tarsila do Amaral. The Moon. 1928. Oil on canvas, 43 5/16 × 43 5/16" (110 × 110 cm), Gift of Joan H. Tisch (by exchange)
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 514 The David Geffen Wing

In the years after World War I, Paris once again became a crossroads for artists from around the world. Many sought new forms of classicism, looking for ways to connect the shaky present to solid foundations of the past. Fernand Léger turned to the sleek mechanical parts and mass-produced objects of modern industry for inspiration, believing that art and machines together could remake the world. “The object is everywhere in contemporary life,” he declared in 1925, reflecting his fascination with machine-made things. Pablo Picasso, conversely, proposed a different type of modern classicism grounded in his own prewar Cubism. Still others, like designer Eileen Gray, created works that embody the rich crossover between “*style moderne*” (the predominant decorative style of the 1920s and 1930s), austere geometric modularity, and luxury craft.

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