AT THE NORTON SIMON MUSEUM: 25 TINY WORKS BY SOME OF MODERN ART’S BIGGEST NAMES
Modernism in Miniature
August 12, 2022 - January 9, 2023
Norton Simon Museum
411 West Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, California 91105
Exhibition organized by Frances Lazare
by Sarah Fensom, brutjournal’s U.S.A. West Coast bureau chief
At the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, northeast of central Los Angeles, the exhibition Modernism in Miniature is on view in a small, square gallery located to the right of the admissions desk. There, displayed on walls that have been painted a deep shade of navy blue, are 25 works from the museum’s collection dating from the early to mid-20th century. Arranged chronologically, they span a range of modern-art styles and movements, from German Expressionism to American Pop.
Among the big-name modernists whose works, in this unusual presentation, can be seen playing it small: Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Lyonel Feininger, Joseph Cornell, Claes Oldenburg, and John Chamberlain.
Despite the exhibition’s provocative title, to describe each of the pieces on view as teeny-tiny would be inaccurate. That’s because, although all the artworks it presents are quite small, in a number of cases, they may be seen as reduced in scale relative to the proportions in which the featured artists here were known to have more typically worked; for example, a John Chamberlain piece on view measures roughly 12 by 12 inches and is microscopic compared to the large-scale, crushed-metal sculptures for which this artist is well known.
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