“Degas to Picasso: Modern Masters” is an ambitious, kaleidoscopic survey of European art from 1900 to the 1960s. This unprecedented panorama of modernism from the MFA’s collection occupies the Torf and Trustman Galleries as well as the Museum’s Lower Rotunda, presenting a rare opportunity to see more than 280 works in diverse media, some newly acquired and others rarely on view due to space limitations or sensitivity to light.
From the late works of Degas, Gauguin, Munch, and Rodin through the last creative outbursts of Giacometti and Picasso, the exhibition explores major figures in twentieth-century Europe, from late impressionism and symbolism to mid-century modernism.
The School of Paris is represented by Matisse and intriguing artists such as Berman, Despiau, and Zadkine. International Surrealist works include paintings and works on paper by Spaniards Dali and Miró, Belgians Delvaux and Magritte, and the Chilean-born painter Matta. American expatriates active in France, Calder and Man Ray, are an integral part of this complex modernist mosaic.
Postwar masterpieces include works by de Stael and the COBRA group. A British section highlights both more conservative tendencies (Sickert) as well as the avant-garde (Gaudier-Brzeska). Pieces by Schiele, Kokoschka, Kirchner, Nolde, Klee, Beckmann, and Kollwitz exemplify the range of art that came out of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Works by Picasso in many media and in a startling variety of styles span the breadth of the exhibition.