Art gallery displays avant-garde work

Emily Cope

Koon-Hwee Kan, assistant professor of art education, browses the Three Cities of the Avant Garde: Paris, New York, Mexico City exhibit that opened yesterday. The collection includes works from artists such as Piccaso, Chagall and Diego Rivera. AMANDA SOWA

Credit: John Proppe

When picturing Pablo Picasso’s work, most people mention cubism.

What most people don’t consider when discussing Picasso’s art is chickens.

Picasso’s piece, La M‚re Poule, was exactly that. La M‚re Poule, an etching, depicts a mother hen with her chicks.

This art piece among many others was displayed as part of Three Cities of the Avant-Garde: Paris, New York, Mexico City exhibit reception at the School of Art Gallery at Kent State yesterday.

Art history professor Diana Scillia, curator of the exhibit, said La M‚re Poule was one of her favorite pieces in the collection.

“I picked it because it offered a good chance for students to look at work the work,” Scillia said. “And maybe get over preconceived notions about artists.”

The exhibit had about 80 pieces. Some featured artists were Diego Rivera, Marc Chagall and William Gropper. The majority of art was created through printmaking processes such as etching and lithography.

The show focuses on artists in Paris, New York and Mexico City during the 1920s through the 1950s. These artists were creating avant-garde, or cutting edge, work at the time.

The artists’ work in these cities was all interconnected in a way, Scillia said.

“You can see effects on New York art that came from Paris. Mexico City’s art also blended with Paris in ways,” Scillia said. “And everything (art styles and artists) ended up in New York.”

Anderson Turner, director of galleries for the School of Art, said the exhibit has been a great way to showcase pieces from the university’s exceptional art collection.

“It was nice to see such diversity,” said Maren Derbogen, a junior fine arts major. “Art always influences your own work in some way. It is important to see a lot of other artists pieces.”

The exhibit will be on display through Oct. 14.

Contact College of the Arts reporter Emily Cope at [email protected].