In the first of a series of events to commemorate the upcoming centennial of World War I, the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France is hosting “1917,” an exhibition of artistic life during that bloody conflict.
While millions were dying on the battlefield, the arts were flourishing in Europe. Much of it was centered on, or a reaction to, the most terrible war the world had yet seen. A large portion of the exhibit is devoted to trench art made by soldiers at the front line. Some drew sketches of their lives; others did creative things with the detritus of war, like the goblets made from artillery shells shown here.
Works from artists on the home front are exhibited too. The star attraction is Pablo Picasso’s largest work, the giant painted theater curtain he made for Parade, a ballet directed by Serge Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes. This impressive work is more than 30 feet long and is rarely displayed due to its size.
In all, “1917” gives us a snapshot into a crucial year in the development of modern art. The show runs until September 24.
[Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]