America ’s most beloved painting style, Impressionism, was once called modern. So what does modern really mean? To get a handle on it, visit the Modernism show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through July. "Modernism covers everything made between World War I and World War II," says director of curatorial affairs Philip Brookman. What’s striking is how many architects were also designing furniture. "Buildings were so different that they had to design new furniture to fit," explains Brookman. The unifying theme is that artists—including Lyonel Feininger in Zirchow VII (above)—threw away the rule books, he says.
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