1950s

Vera Pagava: A Miraculous Mirror

This text considers the work of Vera Pagava, a Georgian artist who lived in exile in Paris, as an amalgamation of modernist and Georgian art historic references. Following Pagava’s life story from Tbilisi, where she was born, to Germany and later Paris, where she settled with her family in 1923 and lived until her death in 1988, this essay introduces her work in relation to that of various other Georgian artists, simultaneously tracing her path from figuration to abstraction.

Memories of Chagga Country: Sam Ntiro

By way of Men Taking Banana Beer to Bride by Night (1956), a painting featured in our “One Work, Many Voices” series, which focuses on individual artworks chosen from MoMA’s collection, art historian Gabriella Nugent highlights the role of memory in Ntiro’s practice. She argues that these memories are a product of distance and thus complicate the frameworks of art history.

From Marketplace to Moral Economy

Collectivity, economics, gender, and spirituality converge in this meticulous reading of Philippine modern artist Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s painting, In the Marketplace. Skirting the ease of performative, atomized, or biographical takes on the subjects at hand, the writer primes instead a broader proposal for latency.  

The Modernist Gaze and the City: Notes on Photography and Urban Repertoires in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in the 1940s and ’50s

This essay is the first in a series of texts on the Foto Cine Club Bandeirante, a group of amateur photographers whose ambitious and innovative works embodied the abundant originality of postwar Brazilian culture. The series coincides with the exhibition Fotoclubismo: Brazilian Modernist Photography, 1946–1964, on view at the Museum of Modern Art from May 8 to September 26, 2021.