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Understanding Modernist Painting

By Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan, Assistant Curator, Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Thursdays, May 28, June 4, and June 11, 2020, 12 pm EST

In this three-part lecture series, Assistant Curator Dr. Tina Rivers Ryan will outline the history of modernist painting—from its emergence in the 1860s to its zenith in the 1940s and 1950s—as shaped by the work of Édouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, and Jackson Pollock. Drawing on her experience teaching art history at institutions such as Columbia University and The Museum of Modern Art, Dr. Ryan will focus closely on the paintings themselves, helping both skeptics and devoted fans see these masterpieces—including ones in the Albright-Knox’s renowned collection—with fresh eyes.


This member-exclusive series is free for Albright-Knox members. Register online using the links below. Please register for each of the three lectures individually if you would like to attend the entire series. You will receive an email reminder the day of the lecture with directions for joining the webinar. Please contact with any questions or for assistance.


Lecture 1: Thursday, May 28, 2020, 12 pm EST
Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet’s scandalous paintings of the 1860s were a formative influence on the Impressionists and are typically cited as the inaugurators of modern art. In this lecture, we will explore Manet’s masterpieces, including Olympia, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, and A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, in order to understand their radicality and lasting impact on modernist painting. Register Online

Lecture 2: Thursday, June 4, 2020, 12 pm EST
Pablo Picasso

Throughout the 20th century, Pablo Picasso constantly reinvented himself and painting, becoming one of the most prolific titans of modern art. This lecture will focus on the thinking behind Picasso’s development of Cubism, the distinctive style that appears almost as shocking and enigmatic to audiences today as it did to those over a century ago. Register Online

Lecture 3: Thursday, June 11, 2020, 12 pm EST
Jackson Pollock

At the peak of his powers in the late 1940s, Jackson Pollock was christened the greatest living American painter; today, he remains one of the most influential American artists of the 20th century. This lecture will focus on Pollock’s famous “drip technique,” explaining its significance to his work and its place within art history. Register Online

Please note: These lectures contain mature content that may not be appropriate for all viewers.


Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Convergence, 1952. Oil on canvas, 93 1/2 x 155 inches (237.5 x 393.7 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr.,1956 (K1956:7). © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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