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French Modernism:
During the first half of the 20th century, artists from all over Europe looked to Paris as a cultural capital, where lively artistic exchanges and a spirit of experimentation and innovation produced a quick succession of movements including Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism. While many of the artists were French, some were emigres from other European countries: Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, and Salvador Dalis were from Spain; Jacques Lipchitz was from Lithuania; and Alexander Archipenko came from the Ukraine. There were also connections between artists working in Paris and German Expressionists, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, whose works are on display in the adjacent gallery. The rich dialogues between artists of different nationalities emphasize the complex web of cultural influences that shaped the way artists working in Paris understood the modern world. Rapid industrialization, the ability to move across national borders via trains, and the quick dissemination of local and international news through mass-produced newspapers, all fed into their desire to explore radical new forms of visual communication.
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