Modernités plurielles — 1905-1970


Collage, design, installation, painting...

Modernités plurielles

Past: October 23, 2013 → December 31, 2014

With a new display of its collections, the Centre Pompidou is presenting a fresh overview of modern art from 1905 to 1970. This exhibition contains an exceptional selection of over 1,000 works by 400 artists from 47 countries. It covers all fields of creation including the plastic arts, photography, film, architecture and design.

Rather than the usual linear viewpoint focused on European movements, it presents a history now extended to include the fringes and outer reaches of art. This new-look journey through the collections is a genuine map of all the connections and cross-influences that have shaped the great adventure of modern art — not to mention movements going against the flow.

This global, open-spirited presentation stages unprecedented encounters between the most celebrated masterpieces in the collection — by Matisse, Foujita, Mondrian, Frida Kahlo, Picasso, Kupka and many others — and several unfamiliar works: new acquisitions, donations and pieces brought back into the spotlight for the occasion.

This enriched overview of the history of art opens out to a wide range of countries, immersing visitors in the extraordinary diversity of art forms in the 20th century. Through a presentation shored up by contextual references, « Multiple modernities » evokes the diversity of experiments and artistic worlds explored by the moderns. Several sections of the exhibition thus cast light on artists’ interest in popular arts, modern life and applied arts. The exhibition reveals the sheer variety of the Centre Pompidou collection, one of the world’s most impressive not only in terms of quality, but also because it represents the largest number of countries and artists — a fact not many people know.

A history of global Art

Plural modernities is a manifesto-exhibition, presenting a refreshed and broadened view of modern art. The Pompidou Center has delved into its rich and varied collection to present a history of art from a global perspective, for the first time. With a programme of over 1 000 artworks, 400 artists and 41 countries represented, this enriched reinterpretation of the history of art reveals the exceptional diversity of artistic forms created from 1905 to 1970.

Open to various countries in the world and to widely diverse aesthetics, Plural modernities illustrates the complex and dynamic relationships between universality and vernacular culture, purity and hybridity, which are present throughout the great adventure of modern art. The exhibition places the works in context, resituating the great masters of the avant-gardes within networks of exchanges and artistic emulation characteristic of this period, which abounded in inventions and challenged the status quo. It is transdisciplinary, showing the junctions and convergences between the various arts : fine arts, photography, cinema, architecture, design… It also outlines the interaction of modern art with traditional practices and non-artistic expressions. It revisits the major movements, as well as more diffuse aesthetic constellations. The first and second schools of Paris, the two privileged moments of cosmopolitan Parisian artistic life, pre- and postwar, are thus reconsidered in the full extent of their diversity. The exhibition is attentive to the various life experiences artists in western and non-western countries have had, and weaves together a common history, while offering historic markers inherent to each artistic context. In order to do so, a new principle of presentation was adopted, founded on a very broad panel of documentation, comprising art magazines from across the globe, placed near the artworks.

Adopting a historical perspective, the exhibition follows a chronological principle. But it also bears witness to the open and discontinuous temporalities that generate the exchanges and processes of reaction from artists to propositions formulated by the avant-gardes. By confronting the canonical perspective of a linear succession of artistic movements to a history drawn from the margins and peripheries, it substitutes a cartography of connections, transfers, but also resistances, in lieu of the history of influences. The various sections are organised like micro-exhibitions and relate the international fortunes of certain modernist impulsions, such as expressionism, futurism, constructivism and abstractions. But space is also given to local movements born out of a connection to or a reaction against these impulsions. During the 1950-1970s, the exhibition sheds light on transversal themes, like “Totemism” or “Art Brut”, as well as the global constellations that develop around certain aesthetic currents—constructed and informal abstractions, kineticism, and conceptual art.

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

Place Georges Pompidou

75004 Paris

T. 01 44 78 12 33 — F. 01 44 78 16 73

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 11 AM – 9 PM
Late night on until 11 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €16.00 — Concessions €14.00

Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans, billet exonéré pour les moins de 26 ans. Et pour tout le monde, les premiers dimanches du mois.

Venue schedule