“We regarded ourselves as engineers,” declared the artist Hannah Höch, describing a new approach to art in the 1920s and 30s. “We maintained that we were building things … we put our works together like fitters.” The title of this exhibition captures the ethos of many early-20th-century artists, caught up in political engagement and groundbreaking visual experiment. Dada, Bauhaus, De Stijl, and Futurism were responses to devastating world events—two World Wars, the Russian Revolution, and the rise of fascism. Presenting new acquisitions from the Merrill C. Berman Collection—including works by Aleksandr Rodchenko, Lyubov Popova, John Heartfield, and Fré Cohen—MoMA considers the impact of these avant-garde activities. —E.C.
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