Exhibition

Flesh and Metal

Body and Machine in Early 20th-Century Art

November 13, 2013 - March 16, 2014

Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

Featuring works by Giorgio de Chirico, Alexander Rodchenko, Constantin Brancusi, Berenice Abbott, Man Ray, and others, Flesh and Metal considers how modern painters, photographers, and sculptors reconciled the impersonal world of the mechanical with the uncontrollable realm of the human psyche, producing a wide range of imagery responding to the complexity of modern experience. Flesh and Metal is jointly organized by the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University and SFMOMA.

Flesh and Metal: Body and Machine in Early 20th-Century Art is jointly organized by the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Both institutions gratefully acknowledge major support from Doris Fisher and the Cantor's Clumeck Fund and Susan and John Diekman Discretionary Fund; generous support from the Cantor's Contemporary Collectors Circle; and a sponsorship gift from Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding. Additional support is provided by Phyllis Moldaw and Bobbie and Mike Wilsey, with a participatory gift from William Reller.

  • Fernand Lger, Deux femmes sur fond bleu (Two Women on a Blue Background), 1927; oil on canvas; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, fractional gift of Helen and Charles Schwab Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, photo: Ben Blackwell
  • Hans Bellmer, La mitrailleuse en tat de grce (The Machine Gun[neress] in a State of Grace), 1937; gelatin silver print with oil and watercolor mounted on board; Collection SFMOMA, gift of Foto Forum; Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, photo: Ben Blackwell
  • Alexander Rodchenko, Pozharnaia lestnitsa, from the series Dom na Miasnitskoi (Fire Escape, from the series House Building on Miasnitskaia Street), 1925; gelatin silver print; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Frances and John Bowes, Evelyn Haas, Mimi and Peter Haas, Pam and Dick Kramlich, and Judy and John Webb; Estate of Alexander Rodchenko / RAO, Moscow / VAGA, New York
  • Giorgio de Chirico, Les contrarits du penseur (The Vexations of the Thinker), 1915; Collection SFMOMA, Templeton Crocker Fund purchase; 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome; photo: Don Myer and Joe Schopplein
  • Marcel Jean, Le Spectre du Gardenia (The Specter of the Gardenia), 1936/1972; wool powder over plaster, zippers, celluloid film, and suede over wood; Collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Dr. and Mrs. Allan Roos; Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, photo: Ben Blackwell