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Why Are Young St. Louisans Embracing Modern Art?

Kodner Art Gallery

Modern art and furniture is getting its due (again) as collectors return to the styles made popular in the early 1900s through about 1970.

“Young collectors have become very eclectic,” said Stephanie Stokes, manager at the Kodner Gallery. “People appreciate vintage.”

The “Modernism: Art + Design” exhibit at Kodner Gallery in Ladue features modern paintings, drawings, sculptures and furniture. Stokes described the modern movement as artists’ reactions to a changing world.

“Art wasn’t just for the elite anymore,” she said. “Art was for everyone.”

Credit Kodner Gallery
The Kodner Gallery exhibit features two Andy Warhol paintings.

That accessibility is what still draws many to the era.

“Modernism is back,” Stokes said. “For young collectors, I think people like the simplicity of it — the clean lines, bold color. It appeals to where trends are going with interior design. And there is a nostalgia to it.”

“There’s almost a futuristic element to it, with this avant garde feel and this new way of looking not only at the art work, but at the furniture as well, paying attention to line and form,” said Kodner Gallery owner Jonathan Kodner.

Credit Steve Potter
"Cityscape" host Steve Potter bought this chair for $20 earlier this week. He asked Jonathan Kodner and Stephanie Stokes of Kodner Gallery about the purchase; the concurred it was a good buy that represented the era.

  The Kodner exhibit is set up as a series of interior vignettes, so attendees can “see how the art would have looked displayed in the home in that period.” It features work by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Maurice Vlaminck, Salvador Dali, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and Robert Rauchenberg.

Related Events

Modernism: Art + Design
June 14 – Aug. 30, 2014
Kodner Art Gallery, 9650 Clayton Road, Ladue

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, and sponsored in part by the MissouriArts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.