The many artistic movements and practices that emerged in the 20th century resonate with the great changes - cultural and ideological, scientific and technological - of the modern age. The beginning of the century saw the birth of abstract art, as painters and sculptors abandoned the traditional European approach to art as the aesthetic representation of nature. In another major innovation, mass-produced objects were chosen by the artist and relovated to the art context, and the concept of the readymade was born.
The highlights of the Israel Museum's collection of modern art on display in the Modern Art gallery underscore the vitality an diversity of art created between 1900 and 1975. The section Color / Gesture / Expression deals with styles of painting and sculpture that emphasize color, spontaneity, and materiality - Fauvism, Expressionism, and the School of Paris - and post-World War II movements such as Art Informel and Abstract Expressionism. Space / Structure traces practices characterized by intellectual rigor, highly calculated processes, and a preoccupation with planes and volumes, traversing movements from Cubism to Minimalism, via the European avant-gardes of Futurism, Constructivism, and the Bauhaus. Art / Life / Dream addresses the blurring of boundaries between art , life, and popular culture. Strategies of collage, readymade, and replication connect the creative practives of Dada and Surrealism with the later activity of Fluxus, Pop, and Conceptual art.
The gallery also offers dialogues between modern works and other areas represented in the Museum's encyclopedic holdings, from archaeology and African and Oceanic material culture to contemporary art.