Celebrating the centennial of the first Armory Show, the New-York Historical Society has announced details for its upcoming exhibition of work that appeared in the groundbreaking original exhibition, in 1913. At a press briefing yesterday, organizers of “The Armory Show at 100,” opening October 11, emphasized that the show would highlight not just the art, but the context of the era, “a time of explosive and volcanic change in culture,” as exhibition sponsor Harold Newman put it.
Curators are including archival documents and photographs, and might bring in experiential novelties like a live ragtime band or dancers. As for the art, Marcel Duchamp’s scandal-inducing “Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)” (1912) is the show’s biggest draw, but there are plenty of other pivotal works on view too.
“We all think about Duchamp when it comes to the Armory Show, but we need to think more about Matisse and the Fauves,” said co-curator Kimberly Orcutt. To that end, Matisse’s seminal “Blue Nude” (1907) is on view, as well as some of his more traditional portraits. Then there are still-lifes by Marsden Hartley, Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian paintings, and a wide selection of works from the Ash Can School.
More information and updates on the show can be found at a new dedicated website, armory.nyhistory.org
— Rachel Corbett
(Photo: Henri Matisse, “Blue Nude,” 1907)