Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

American Modernism: 20th Century Influencers of Rockland

February 15, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until February 23, 2020


Rockland Center for the Arts presents American Modernism: 20th Century Influencers in Rockland, art by luminaries who lived in Rockland County from the 1910s through the 1960s. Modernism presented a radical break with the rigid structures of the past, prompting a search for new forms of expression that fostered a period of experimentation in the arts. This exhibition explores preeminent artists from all disciplines and how they brought Modernist thinking and influences to Rockland County—and American masterpieces to the larger world.

The local Rockland landscape influenced many residents over the course of the 20th century and, in turn, the artists and intellectuals who found inspiration here influenced one another. Notable residents include art critic and landscape artist Mary Mowbray-Clarke. Mary, along with her husband, John F. Mowbray-Clarke, and the painter (and fellow Rockland resident) Arthur B. Davies, were co-founders of the 1913 Armory Show that introduced Modernism to America; sculptor Hugo Robus whose sculptural works embodied Futurist aesthetics; ceramicist, painter and self-taught architect, Henry Varnum Poor, who designed “Crow House” and other homes for other artists on South Mountain Road in New City and has works in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Ruth Reeves was a Cubist-influenced American textile artist of the first half of the 20th Century whose best known works are the carpeting and wallcoverings for Radio City Music Hall; newly rediscovered artist, Sari Dienes, who used experimental processes to create abstract transfer drawings of highly-recognizable NYC streets, her abstract yet highly recognizable works were little known until recently and are now on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the highly-honored and respected painter Richard Pousette-Dart, who was a founding member of the New York School of abstract expressionists, and drew inspiration from existentialist philosophy but over time his works took on a more mystical quality. He has been honored with retrospectives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum; innovative glass artist Maurice Heaton, known for inventing a process for firing and shaping his glassware which started the ball rolling for the studio glass movement in the 1960’s.

From the artists/intellectuals of South Mountain Road to Modernist innovators such as ceramicist Eva Zeisel and glass artist Maurice Heaton, Rockland County has long been home to cultural giants of world renown. Many of these artists were instrumental in forming the Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA), originally known as the Rockland Foundation in the 1940s. It is only fitting to celebrate these artists at Rockland Center for the Arts, a dynamic institution they collectively created.

Artists include:
Edith Cockcroft, Joel Corcos Levy, Arthur B. Davies, Sari Dienes, Carroll French, Maurice Heaton, Karen Karnes, Morris Kantor, Mary Mowbray-Clarke, Richard Pousette-Dart, Ruth Reeves, Hugo Robus, Gilbert Rose, Martha Ryther, Vaclav Vytlacil, Henry Varnum Poor, and Eva Zeisel.

Today, the impact of these innovators continues to reverberate on both a local and international scale. American Modernism: 20th Century Influencers in Rockland will be on view January 12 through February 23, 2020. An opening reception will take place January 12th, 2:00-5:00pm, Free to the public. This exhibition is in partnership with the Historical Society of Rockland County.

Exhibition-related programs will include: a panel discussion on the Artists and Intellectuals of South Mountain Road, Saturday, February 8th at 1:00pm (free to the public). Exhibition-based school visits will integrate Modern Art, Rockland County and American history for grades 3 through 12. The gallery will be closed February 8th for events. On February 22nd at 7:00pm, there will be a free film screening of Lost in the Stars: A Video Portrait of Maxwell Anderson, written and co-produced by Richard Connelly.

For more information contact: Rockland Center for the Arts, 845-358-0877, info@rocklandartcenter.org or visit www.rocklandartcenter.org.

Rockland Center for the Arts is located at 27 S Greenbush Rd., West Nyack, NY 10994. Gallery hours are: Mon-Fri 10-4; Sat and Sun 1-4pm. Free to the general public.

RoCA gratefully acknowledges support for its programs from M&T Bank, Orange & Rockland Utilities, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C., Sterling National Bank, Crystal Run Healthcare, Rockland County Tourism, the Estate of Joan Konner, Lighting Services Inc., Sarah and Stephen Thomas, the Mark and Jessie Milano Foundation, Zaklin Family Charitable Fund, The County of Rockland, The Family Fjord Foundation, Simona and Jerome Chazen, ASG, RoCA members, donors and business members.

RoCA’s programs are made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Funding is also made possible by the County of Rockland.


February 15, 2020
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Categories:


Rockland Center for the Arts


Rockland Center for the Arts
27 South Greenbush Road
West Nyack, 10994
+ Google Map
Get Weekly Events