Untitled (Men and Machines)

The growth of industrialization in the twentieth century spurred commentary on man’s relationship with machines, and whether or not the expanded use of machines in daily life was good for mankind. In a sophisticated cubist design, Robus pictures workers as faceless figures, dehumanized in the presence of massive machine part. The use of bold colors places the work within the context of Synchromism, a style of cubism that blends angularity and the deconstruction of forms with brilliant color. This is a relatively rare painting by Robus, who devoted himself almost exclusively to sculpture after 1920.

Image Credits: Hugo Robus (American, 1885-1964), Untitled (Men and Machines), 1919, oil on canvas. Gift of the Pinnacle West Capital Corporation in honor of Jack E. and Mary Lou Davis, 2008.43.

Flowers, Italy

Stella, who emigrated from Italy in 1896, was among the earliest Americans to work in an abstract style and was a leader in the American Futurist movement in the 1910s. He exhibited cubist-inspired work in the famous Armory Show of 1913, which first introduced Americans on a large scale to the styles of European modernism. He made large, imposing images of the buildings and bridges of New York City, where contradictory feelings of excitement and imprisonment are expressed. Yet around the same time, Stella began making small studies of flowers, which would serve as models for later work.

A frequent traveler, Stella spent years in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, staying primarily in Italy and Paris. Away from New York, he fully explored his interests in nature. Flowers, Italy, measuring slightly more than 6 feet by 6 feet, is an impressive painting that expresses the artist’s love of nature in quasi-religious terms. Recalling the brilliant colors of stained-glass windows, the flowers and stems create a virtual cathedral of and to nature.

Image Credits: Joseph Stella (American, born in Italy, 1879-1946), Flowers, Italy, 1931, oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Marshall, 1964.20.

Pink Abstraction

O’Keeffe, known best for her close-up views of flowers and desert landscapes, was a highly innovative abstract painter and among the first artists anywhere to make purely non-representational paintings. Pink Abstraction, made during a spring visit to her husband’s family’s home on Lake George, New York, is a dynamic example of her creativity. The rounded forms divided by a vertical band of color feature the pink color of tulips she had recently been painting. Later in the same year, 1929, O’Keeffe would visit Taos, New Mexico, a trip that would eventually lure her to settle permanently in the American Southwest.

This is one of four works by O’Keeffe in the Museum’s collection.

Image Credits: Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986), Pink Abstraction, 1929, oil on canvas. Gift of Friends of Art, 1967.81.

About The Modern Art Collection

The Modern Art Collection, which includes works from the turn of the 20th century to mid-century, reflects the progressive art trends that begin in Europe and quickly spread around the world. With approximately 2,400 paintings, sculpture and works on paper, the collection features images by many of the modernist pioneers of Europe and North America. Included are works that show the developments of Post Impressionism, Surrealism, Geometric Abstraction, Regionalism and the American Scene, and into the early stages of Abstract Expressionism. Represented artists include: Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Hugo Robus, Florine Stettheimer, Marsden Hartley, Joseph Stella, Arthur Dove, Raymond Jonson, Oscar Bluemner, Georgia O'Keeffe, and more.

Philip C. Curtis Art

The Ullman Center provides you with a unique opportunity to focus on the art and life of the superb painter, Philip C. Curtis. The works on view are drawn from the Museum's extensive collection and cover more than fifty years of his career.

View more on the art of Philip C. Curtis

Past Exhibitions

PhxArt60 Marshall and Hendler Galleries Saturday, September 7, 2019 - Sunday, January 26, 2020

Transcendent Transcendentalists American Art galleries Saturday, March 30, 2019 - Sunday, December 15, 2019

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist Steele Gallery Saturday, March 9, 2019 - Sunday, September 8, 2019

Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam Through Time and Place Asian Art Galleries Saturday, January 26, 2019 - Monday, May 27, 2019

Mirror Mirror The Hub: The James K. Ballinger Interactive Gallery Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - Sunday, February 17, 2019

In the Company of Women Steele Gallery Saturday, July 7, 2018 - Sunday, August 12, 2018

Poetry in Motion The Hub: The James K. Ballinger Interactive Gallery Saturday, December 16, 2017 - Sunday, June 10, 2018

Alexander Calder Orientation Gallery Saturday, September 9, 2017 - Sunday, April 1, 2018

Special Installation: Marshall Gallery and Hendler Gallery Friday, November 4, 2016 - Saturday, December 31, 2016

Get Face Marshall Gallery and Hendler Gallery Saturday, September 17, 2016 - Saturday, December 31, 2016

Phoenix Rising Steele Gallery Saturday, April 16, 2016 - Sunday, May 29, 2016

American and European Art from the 1920s and 1930s Lyon Gallery Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Sunday, November 15, 2015

From New York to New Mexico Steele Gallery Sunday, June 7, 2015 - Monday, September 7, 2015

Vanitas Marshall and Hendler Galleries Sunday, November 2, 2014 - Sunday, February 8, 2015

Modern Mexican Painting Steele Gallery Friday, July 1, 2011 - Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cézanne and American Modernism Steele Gallery Thursday, July 1, 2010 - Sunday, September 26, 2010

Susan G. Komen Orme Lewis Gallery Saturday, August 30, 2008 - Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brilliant Abstraction Orme Lewis Gallery Saturday, November 11, 2006 - Sunday, January 28, 2007

Surrealism USA Steele Gallery Sunday, June 5, 2005 - Sunday, September 25, 2005

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