Windows on the City, No. 4
Robert Delaunay
Windows on the City, No. 4

Gallery I
French Paintings and Sculpture

Many of the paintings Kuhn and Davies chose by the Duchamp brothers and Picabia were first shown in the Section d'Or exhibit in Paris in October 1912. The artists in the Section d'Or, including Fernand Léger, Albert Gleizes, Alexander Archipenko, and Robert Delaunay, displayed a variety of individual methods that came to be understood as cubism. Walter Pach, who did not exhibit with the Section d'Or but knew these artists very well, introduced Kuhn and Davies to many of them during their visit to Paris.

Like Pach, Delaunay did not exhibit in 1912, but he frequently met with the Duchamps and other Section d'Or artists in Puteaux (just outside Paris) during the summer and fall of 1912. His massive City of Paris was sent late in January to be hung in the Armory Show, but Davies apparently decided it was too large and overpowering for Gallery I. Acting on behalf of Delaunay, the painter Samuel Halpert asked that all of Delaunay's paintings be removed, as well as those by Patrick Henry Bruce. Windows on the City, No. 4 (above) and Route de Laon remained in the New York show but did not go on to Chicago. Bruce's four still lifes stayed in New York as well after the close of the exhibition in acknowledgement of his solidarity with Delaunay.

While the work of the Section d'Or artists was extremely heterogeneous, it became known as cubism in 1911-1912 through the group exhibitions and through the writings of Guillaume Apollinaire. Apollinaire, who initially rejected the liberal application of the title, quickly reconsidered and decided that a defense against critics could be waged under the auspices of a united school of thought (Altshuler 27). Following Apollinaire's assessment, Gallery I became "The Cubist Room" in For and Against, a pamphlet produced in time for the Chicago leg of the show, although the works were also described as futurist. Duchamp and Delaunay's paintings in the Armory Show were later discussed as responses to the 1912 Futurist Exhibition in Paris, but most critics in New York had little or no knowledge of the Italian painters who claimed a title of their own and gave the public a series of manifestos in the name of Futurism. The confusion seems to have arisen in part from an earlier announcement that the Italian Futurists would participate in the Armory Show. Although Davies and Kuhn had hoped to have Severini, Carrará and others contribute, the Futurists felt the American exhibition would create even greater confusion of what they saw as significantly distinct movements. They chose instead to show their work separately in a European exhibition that ran concurrently with the Armory Show.


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