The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910–1918

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Due to the redesign of, past exhibitions prior to 2008 are archived externally; visiting these pages will open a new window.


Public & Artist Interactions: The Artist’s Voice with Karen Finley
Mondays, February 28, 5:30–8:30 pm; March 7, 14, 21, 6–8:30 pm; March 28, 5:30–8:30 pm
Taught by artist Karen Finley, and drawing from works on view in The Great Upheaval and the concurrent exhibition the Deutsche Bank Series: Found in Translation, this five-session workshop engages adults in writing exercises, studio work, museum visits, and collaborative discussion to explore language as metaphor, text as visual medium, and their own inner voice. A final reflection concludes the process. No art-making experience required.

$250, $175 members and students. For more information and to register, call 212 423 3781.

Public & Artist Interactions: The Modernist Studio with Corey D’Augustine
Expressionism, Saturday, March 12, 10 am–4 pm
Abstraction, Saturday, April 9, 10 am–4 pm
Taught by independent instructor, artist, and conservator Corey D’Augustine, these daylong studio workshops examine Expressionism and Abstraction from the perspective of the artist by employing the techniques used in paintings of the period. After a brief slide lecture, students visit The Great Upheaval to view works of art in person. Each student then paints a small canvas based on these works in the studio. No previous painting experience is necessary.

$75, $60 members and students for one session; $140, $110 members and students for both sessions.


Conservator’s Eye: Julie Barten, Friday, March 4, 2 pm
Curator’s Eye: Tracey Bashkoff, Friday, March 11, 2 pm
Curator’s Eye: Megan Fontenella, Friday, April 1, 2 pm

Free with museum admission.


“Isms” and “Ists”: The Modernist Group in the 1910s
Milton A. Cohen
Professor of Literary Studies, University of Texas at Dallas
Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 pm
The 1910s witnessed an explosion of modernist groups.  In the visual arts alone, prominent groups included the Italian Futurists, the Parisian Cubists and Orphists, Der Blaue Reiter of Munich, Die Brücke of Berlin, the London Vorticists, and the Russian Rayists. What accounts for this burgeoning?  What made groups so appealing to artists in these years?  More importantly, was this surge in modernist groups related to the accelerating innovation in all the arts of these years? “Isms and Ists” will address these questions and conclude with examples of how one group in particular, the Italian Futurists, influenced artists from London to Munich to Moscow. Cohen’s essay “Artists Write! Manifestos and Books in 1912” appears in The Great Upheaval exhibition catalogue.

Tickets are $10, $7 members, free for students.


Thursday, April 14, 8:40 pm and 10:40 pm.
The sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912, has continued to move and fascinate for generations. Artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster creates a performance installation in the museum’s rotunda, inspired by this historic event and wherein the audience plays a role. Gavin Bryars's The Sinking of the Titanic will be at the core of the installation, performed by Wordless Music Orchestra. "Boarding" closes at 8:40 pm. Produced by Charles Fabius and generously supported by the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.

Tickets are $30, $25 members, $10 students.

REIGEN ad lib

Thursday April 28 – Friday, April 29, 8 pm, and Saturday, April 30, 3pm
REIGEN ad lib, a contemporary adaptation of Der Reigen (Hands Around, 1897) by playwright Arthur Schnitzler, will be performed in English by Dood Paard, an avant-garde theater collective without a director or set designer based in Amsterdam.  A close friend of Freud and often considered his literary counterpart, Schnitzler wrote a series of influential works, including Der Reigen, a play considered so scandalous at the time due to its sexual content that it remained banned for more than twenty years, with only one unauthorized performance in Budapest in 1912. Dood Paard performs REIGEN ad lib on a stage of vintage mattresses while the sexual act is intimated through stroboscopic projections of the video Sync by artist Marco Brambilla from the compilation Destricted (2006), a collection of short erotic films by artists. Produced by Charles Fabius and generously supported by the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. This program is supported in part by public funds from the Netherlands Cultural Services.

Tickets are $30, $25 members, $10 students.


This program of international films from the early 20th century spans the period of The Great Upheaval. During these years, the burgeoning film industry quickly became a quintessential facet of modern life, offering escapism, decadence, and the destruction of distance. Unless otherwise stated, films screenings are on Fridays, free with museum admission and are shown in the New Media Theater in the Sackler Center for Arts Education. This film program is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. For complete film descriptions, visit the Film Screenings page.

Les Amours de la reine Élizabeth (The Loves of Queen Elizabeth), 1912
February 11, 18, 25 at 1 pm
Director: Louis Mercanton
35 minutes, 16 mm, silent with musical score
Courtesy Museum of Modern Art, Circulating Film & Video Library

Cabiria, 1914
March 4, 11, 18 at 12 and 3 pm
Director: Giovanni Pastrone
123 minutes, DVD, silent with English intertitles
Courtesy Kino International

Der Golem (The Golem), 1920
March 25 and April 1, 8 at 1 and 2:30 pm
Directors: Carl Boese and Paul Wegener
60 minutes, DVD, silent with English intertitles
Courtesy Kino International

In Nacht und Eis (In Night and Ice), 1912
April 15 at 1 and 2 pm
Director: Mime Misu
35 minutes, 35 mm, silent with German intertitles
Courtesy Deutsche Kinemathek

Umirayushchii lebed (The Dying Swan), 1916
April 22, May 6, 13 at 1 and 2:30 pm
Director: Evgeni Bauer
49 minutes, 35 mm, silent with musical score
Courtesy Milestone Film & Video

Chaplin Shorts, 1915–17
May 20, 27 at 12:30 and 3:30 pm
Director: Charles Chaplin
80 minutes, 35 mm, silent with musical score
Courtesy Kino International


“Bright Field”: Music and Modernism
R. Luke Dubois
Tuesday, May 24, 6:30 pm
During the decade leading up to the first world war, composers such as Debussy, Schoenberg, Scriabin, and Stravinsky were writing music in active dialogue with the social upheavals, intellectual currents, and political events of their day, embracing the same radical spirit that inspired their colleagues in the visual arts. This gallery program highlights selections of music from 1910–18 alongside the works in The Great Upheaval. A talk by American composer R. Luke DuBois precedes the concert.

Tickets are $15, $10 members, $5 students.

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