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Engineer, Agitator, Constructor:
The Artist Reinvented

December 13, 2020 – April 10, 2021

The Museum of Modern Art

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, 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 Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, The Contemporary Arts Council, Eva and Glenn Dubin, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment, The David Rockefeller Council, the Eyal and Marilyn Ofer Family Exhibition Fund, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, and Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Press Kit

Images

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John (born Helmut Herzfelde) Heartfield (German, 1891–1968). The Hand Has Five Fingers (5 Finger hat die Hand) (Campaign poster for German Communist Party). 1928. Lithograph. Printer: Peuvag-Druckerei, Berlin. 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). Untitled (Dada). c. 1922. Cut-and-pasted printed and colored paper 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 for electrical company. 1924. Gouache, ink, pencil, and cut-and-pasted printed paper on board. 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). Untitled (red square). c. 1928. Cut-and-pasted printed and painted paper on board. 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, 1902–1987). Maquette for We Are Building (Stroim). 1929. Cut-and-pasted printed and painted paper, sandpaper, gouache, and pencil 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

Liubov Popova (Russian, 1889–1924). Production Clothing for Actor No. 7 (Prozodezhda aktera No. 7). 1922 (inscribed 1921). Gouache, cut-and-pasted colored paper, ink, and pencil 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

All works The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Merrill C. Berman Collection. Acquired through the generosity of Alice and Tom Tisch, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, David Booth, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jack Shear, the Patricia Bonfield Endowed Acquisition Fund for the Design Collection, Daniel and Jane Och, The Orentreich Family Foundation, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, The Modern Women’s Fund; and by exchange: Gift of Jean Dubuffet in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Colin, The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, and the Richard S. Zeisler Bequest.