James Britton Gantt
American, 1911–1984
Side Show
tempera on panel, 1937
43 x 29 inches
Collection of John and Susan Horseman

Modern Dialect

July 13, 2013 - September 22, 2013

Hodge Gallery

Modern Dialect brings together more than 50 American Scene and Modernist paintings from the 1920s through the 1940s. This exhibition reveals both the shared concerns and jubilations of artists from every region of the country during a fluctuating and demanding time in American history. From simplified and fragmented rural landscapes to modern industrial cities to purely abstract compositions, Modern Dialect illustrates the scope of the American Modernist aesthetic, including works by George Ault, Reginald Marsh, Charles Sheeler, John Steuart Curry, and Charles Burchfield.

This exhibition takes a harrowing look into the fertile ground of American painting between the two world wars. It is a tribute to the quickening pace of American life, and the growing appreciation in the United States of all things new and modern in the midst of the rise of an insistent machine age. Modern Dialect follows impressive advances of the 1930s American Scene painters, and delves into the style and substance of their work as the paintings became even more effective in expressing social concern and political protest.

Drawn from the collection of John and Susan Horseman, this exhibition ranges from the serene study of light to the evocation of the horrors of war to an America in financial crisis. All of these topics resonate with the America we live in today, still not fully recovered from the recession. Modern Dialect allows visitors to see and appreciate history and the lessons that it continues to teach.

Organized and circulated by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens

From the Exhibition

  • John Steuart Curry, American, 1897-1946, Portrait of Stanley Young, 1932, oil on canvas, 32 x 30 inches. Collection of John and Susan Horseman

  • Earl Rowland, American, 1890–1963, The Smelters (Men of Steel), 1934, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches. Collection of John and Susan Horseman

  • Valleja Strauntin, American, 1898–1989, Abstract, ca. 1930, oil on canvas, 36 x 22 inches. Collection of John and Susan Horseman

  • Charles Biederman, American, 1906–2004, Abstraction, 1935, oil on canvas, 42 x 31 1/4 inches. Collection of John and Susan Horseman

  • William Sommer, American, 1867 – 1949, Adam and Eve, ca. 1912 – 1915, oil on artist's board, 32 1/2 x 23 3/4 inches. Collection of John and Susan Horseman