New York City's magnetism has always attracted painters, photographers and sculptors who go on to depict this mesmerizing metropolis in their art. The Katonah Museum's exhibit, "New York, New York! The Twentieth Century," on view now through Dec. 31, gathers city-themed works by some of the most distinguished of them, including Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Stuart Davis, Andreas Feininger, William Gropper, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, Edward Steichen, and others.
Grouped around five themes: "On the Waterfront," "Avenues and Streets," "In the Park," "On the Town," and "Tall Buildings," the artists' subjects sometimes overlap, but their interpretations are uniquely individual and often, stunning. As Nancy Wallach, the Museum's Director of Curatorial Affairs acknowledges, the exhibit showcases the richness and breadth of inspiration New York provided. “Spanning 100 years of art and history, [the show] captures the vibrancy, power, and beauty of one of the greatest cities of the world through the eyes of some of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century.”
Included is Edward Steichen's 1905 photograph of the Flat Iron building, perhaps the best known work displayed in "New York, New York!" Draped in misty shadows, it shows the city's old-fashioned splendor juxtaposed with the looming, modern building rising in the background.
But in another scene, Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao's 2005 pigment ink print, "42nd Street Times Square, Manhattan," viewers fastforward to a noisy New York where waves of colorful pedestrians surge across an almost throbbing Times Square street.
The Museum's companion exhibit, "Storied City," running concurrently, shows how New York has been muse to many illustrators. Here work by children's book artists, including Richard Egielski, Mordicai Gerstein, Jerry Pinkney, Brian Selznick, Marc Simont, David Small, David Wiesner and New Yorker magazine artists, such as Maira Kalman, James McMullan, Roxie Munro, and Edward Sorel, offer more idiosyncratic city views. Immerse yourself in The Katonah Museum's exhibits and you'll see fascinatingly unique views of New York that share a powerful love of this inspiring city. For more information on the exhibits, visit The Katonah Museum's website.