This landmark book is the first to capture the diversity of American artistic production of the interwar period in Paris. Assembling works from American and European collections to illustrate the presence of American artists at the heart of numerous avant-garde movements, including Purism, geometric abstraction, and surrealism, A Transatlantic Avant-Garde chronicles an uncertain time of transition when many American artists resisted the nationalist trends of Stieglitz and his circle and flooded the French capital seeking artistic exchange.
Abundantly illustrated, this book includes over 200 color reproductions of artwork by both American artists and those European artists with whom they came in contact, including Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Albert Eugene Gallatin, Jean Hélion, and Fernand Léger, as well as those from the surrealist circles, such as Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray. It also includes portraits of the illustrious characters by Berenice Abbott, Lee Miller, and Edward Steichen.
This book reflects the transatlantic dialogue of the era by bringing together groundbreaking research in eight essays by both American and French authors. It is further enriched by a detailed chronology, bibliography, and illustrated insets that trace the incessant travel, encounters and ensuing friendships, exhibitions and publications of the American avant-garde.
A Transatlantic Avant-Garde: American Artists in Paris, 1918-1939 accompanies a major traveling exhibition organized by the Musée d'Art Américain Giverny.
PART 1. THE PURITY OF THE OBJECT
From Nature Morte to Contemporary Plastic Life: Purism, Léger, and the Americans
Kenneth E. Silver
Exposition Internationale L'Art d'Aujourd'hui
A Picture of America by Gerald Murphy
"Ultramodern" American Premieres in Paris: Within the Quota and Ballet Méchanique
PART 2. THE BIRTH OF GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTION
The View of Americans in the Cahiers D'Art Before 1940
Reciprocal Influences: Albert Eugene Gallatin and Jacques Mauny
Albert Eugene Gallatin and the Paris-New York Connection, 1927-1942
PART 3. "THE CHEMISTS OF MYSTERY"
Man Ray: An American in Paris
Emmanuelle de L'Ecotais
Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme
Boxes, Books, and the Boîte-en-Valise
PART 4. THE PORTRAITS OF THE AVANT-GARDE
To Be Is to Be Perceived: Portraits of the Avant-Garde in Paris
Bronwyn A. E. Griffith
American "Little Magazines" in Paris
"Salon de l'Escalier"
Bronwyn A. E. Griffith
Albert Eugene Gallatin's Travel Kit
The Studio of Constantin Brancusi
List of Exhibited Works Not Reproduced in the Catalog
Sophie Lévy is Chief Curator of the Musée d'Art Américain Giverny.