MODERN TIMES in Paris 1925: Art and Design in the Machine-age
Dates: Sat., December 16, 2023 – Sun., May 19, 2024, open daily
Venue: Pola Museum of Art, Gallery 1,2
Organizer: Pola Museum of Art, Pola Art Foundation
Supported by Ambassade de France au Japon / Institut français du Japon
In the 1920s, Paris underwent rapid industrialization in an effort to reconstruct the French capital in the wake of the First World War, ushering in a flourishing and dynamic era known as the Machine Age. This exhibition examines various aspects of the relationship between machines and people in the 1920s and ’30s with a focus on Paris as well as other parts of Europe, the U.S., and Japan. The International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts (the Art Deco Exhibition), a world’s fair held in Paris in 1925, was an important turning point in changing attitudes, as it heralded Art Deco, a geometric style inspired by machines. After the Great Kanto Earthquake, which occurred in 1923, Japan underwent rapid modernization. In the brief period of prosperity between the two world wars, ideas about machines and rationality changed drastically.
With great technological advances such as computers, the Internet, and AI, which promises to transform our lives even further, this is perhaps a good time to revisit the art and design of 100 years ago and reconsider the connection between machines and humans.