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Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented

The Museum of Modern Art

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The major exhibition Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented will present the political engagement, fearless and groundbreaking visual experimentation, and utopian aspirations of artists in the early 20th century. On view in The Robert B. Menschel Galleries from May 10 through September 12, 2020, Engineer, Agitator, Constructor will showcase the activities of historical avant-gardes, including galvanizing works of Dada, Bauhaus, De Stijl, Futurism, and Russian Constructivism, and highlights such figures as Aleksandr Rodchenko, Lyubov Popova, John Heartfield, and Hannah Höch. Drawn from the Museum’s outstanding holdings from this period, the exhibition will mark a recent acquisition of more than 300 works from the Merrill C. Berman Collection, one of the most significant collections of early 20th-century works on paper in private hands.

Organized by Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA, and Adrian Sudhalter, Consulting Curator, with Jane Cavalier, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by The Modern Women’s Fund.

Generous funding is provided by The Dian Woodner Exhibition Endowment Fund.

Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Eva and Glenn Dubin, The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The David Rockefeller Council, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, The Keith Haring Foundation, and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, GRoW @ Annenberg, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

 

 

Images

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John (born Helmut Herzfelde) Heartfield (German, 1891–1968). The Hand Has Five Fingers (5 Finger hat die Hand). 1928. Lithograph, 38 1/2 × 29 1/4″ (97.8 × 74.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Merrill C. Berman Collection

Hannah Höch, German (1889–1978). Collage (Dada). c. 1922. Original collage: cut-and-pasted papers, printed papers, ink (postmark), and postage stamp on board,  9 3/4 × 13″ (24.8 × 33 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Merrill C. Berman Collection

Herbert Bayer (American, born Austria, 1900–1985). Exhibition Stand (Sign) for Electrical Company, Rotating Neon Bands (Ausstellungsstand [Zeichen] for Electrical Company, Rotierende Leuchtschrift Bänder). 1924. Gouache, halftone print, and pencil on paper, 26 3/8 × 14 15/16″ (67 × 38 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Merrill C. Berman Collection

Max Burchartz (German, 1887–1961). Red Square (Rotes Quadrat). c. 1928. Cut-and-pasted printed and painted papers on paper, 19 11/16 × 13 9/16″ (50 × 34.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Merrill C. Berman Collection

Valentina Kulagina (Russian, 1902–1907). Maquette for We Are Building (Stroim). 1929. Gouache, cut-and-pasted halftone prints, sandpaper, and watercolor on paper, 22 5/8 × 14 1/4″ (57.5 × 36.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Merrill C. Berman Collection

Lyubov Popova (Russian, 1889–1924). The Actor’s Work Clothes, No. 7 (Prozodezhda aktera N. 7) (costume design for the play The Magnanimous Cuckold). 1921. Gouache, cut-and-pasted papers, and ink on paper, 12 15/16 × 9 1/8″ (32.8 × 23.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Merrill C. Berman Collection