It was back in 2004 when the Jewish Museum in Manhattan mounted its blockbuster Modigliani exhibition, a show that famously had art lovers waiting in lines 100-people long, even in the rain.
Now, the Upper East Side institution offers another component to its Modigliani examination with “Modigliani Unmasked.”
The first U.S. exhibition devoted to the famed artist’s early work – toured during the press preview – focuses on work created during the years after Modigliani arrived in Paris in 1906.
A sweeping exploration filled with drawings, sculpture and yes, a selection of his famed paintings, “Modigliani Unmasked” also delves into the importance of his heritage as an Italian Sephardic Jew.
His beliefs, which Modigliani refused to hide, made him an outsider in a culture then rife with anti-Semitism.
As exhibition materials explain, “Modigliani’s art cannot be fully understood without acknowledging the ways the artist responded to the social realities he confronted in the unprecedented artistic melting pot of Paris.”
The timely exhibition, along with related programming, continues through Feb. 4.
For more on “Modigliani Unmasked,” check out WAG’s November arts issue and visit TheJewishMuseum.org.
– Mary Shustack