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Modern Art from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection

Crosscurrents makes a significant contribution to the study of modernism. Featuring a wide array of modern and contemporary artists, including Richard Diebenkorn, Georgia O’Keeffe, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, and Wayne Thiebaud, it provides a vital insight into the way the rise of modernism in the mid-twentieth century shaped the art world forever.

Combining outstanding artworks and engaging text, this striking book captures many of the defining moments of modernism. It features over eighty innovative paintings and sculptures by key artists of the twentieth century—all from the outstanding collection of Sam Rose and Julie Walters. Picasso, Miró, O’Keeffe, Pollock, and Warhol created art that defined cubism, surrealism, American modernism, abstract expressionism, and pop. The crosscurrents and intersections that give modernism its complexity and energy are further revealed in works by artists as diverse as Neel, Bearden, Lichtenstein, Stella, Hockney, and Diebenkorn.

Why and how twentieth-century artists broke the rules and transformed the look of art is the subject of Virginia Mecklenburg’s introductory essay. Each work is then superbly illustrated and discussed through such themes as portraiture, nature, metaphor, and social engagement. All of the paintings and sculptures are clearly positioned within the context of the artist’s career. These insightful explorations of the works of thirty-three inventive artists illuminate the wider arc of modernism.


Virginia Mecklenburg the chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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