Midtown’s High Museum of Art’s exhibit, “Fast Forward,” shows visitors how art evolved throughout the 20th century, said Head of Museum Interpretation Julia Forbes.
“It’s divided into six moments in time to show off diversity and richness,” Forbes said. “The curators wanted to look at critical moments when a range of things are happening in the art world.”
Viewers of the exhibit will begin in 1913, when Picasso spearheaded cubism and Matisse introduced impressionism, and other artists used futurism and abstract color and text.
In the 1929 section, graphic arts, surrealism, photography and film are emphasized. “The camera was becoming smaller and more mobile,” Forbes said. “Artists are recombining negatives, using it in a very artistic way with new angles and a new vision.”
In 1950, artwork reflects the effect the world wars had on the art world, with abstract expressionism, which is less about subject matter and more about process, Forbes said.
“The center of the art world shifts from Paris and Europe to New York,” she said. “By 1950, there’s an incredible synergy of artists in New York City.”
1961 holds the largest section as it reflects artists’ response to abstract expressionism, and they brought about a sense of consumer culture and marketing.
Forbes described it as less precious and more transient with artists like Andy Warhol and Klaus Oldenburg taking inspiration from the world around them.
“Lichtenstein’s cover girl is hand painted but looks like she was used by something created by a newspaper,” she said.
1988 is about “Constructing identities,” when art becomes more about social and political ideas. One wall is lined in AIDS wallpaper, which a Canadian collective of artists created to bring awareness to the disease during a time it was not talked about.
New York artist Sarah Sze created a large installation, “Book of Parts, Centennial,” to end the 100 years and to reflect on now. The artwork is a collection of everyday items displayed in a meticulous way, which is all leaning toward the viewer, as if it might fall.
“There’s so many things happening in our world and daily life,” Forbes said. “This makes you feel like you’ve just walked into someone’s lab. It’s a sense that the order is tenuous.”
“Fast Forward” opened last month and is a Museum of Modern Art exhibit from New York. It will run through Jan. 20.
“People have been very excited by it. I hope people are challenged by the ideas,” Forbes said. “Some of the things artists try to communicate are meant to slow us down and make us think. Modern art is about thinking and engaging with these ideas, and seeing how you feel about it.”
If you go:
o What: “Fast Forward”
o When: now through Jan. 20
o Where: High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St., Midtown
o Tickets: $19.50 for adults, $16.50 for seniors, $16.50 for students and $12 for children
o Information: www.high.org.