Global Connections: Works by Miguel Covarrubias, Isami Doi, Aaron Douglas, and Winold Reiss

Curated by Tom Wolf

February - July, 2024
Morgan Anderson and Greenberg Family Galleries

Aaron Douglas, Fire, 1971, courtesy the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Global Connections shines a light on four artists who crossed paths in New York during the 1920s. The city was rapidly becoming a cultural hub that attracted artists from distant states and far-flung countries. Isami Doi moved to New York from Hawaii, Aaron Douglas from Kansas, Miguel Covarrubias from Mexico City, Mexico, and Winold Reiss from Karlsruhe, Germany.

Winold Reiss, The Painter -Watanabe, ca.1926, pastel on Whatman board, Courtesy the Reiss Partnership 

All of these artists were influenced by traveling to other continents and being exposed to cultural differences. They also shared a keen interest in Modernist techniques that introduced new ways of seeing the world, yet their aesthetic styles differed considerably: Covarrubias was primarily a caricaturist of people observed in his travels; Doi made paintings and wood engravings about personal experiences and mythology; Douglas shaped the Harlem Renaissance through socially-conscious African-centric imagery; Reiss incorporated elements of graphic design into realistic portrayals of people whose ethnic identities fascinated him.

Isami Doi , Paris Roofs, 1931, linoleum cut, Courtesy the Honolulu Museum of Art // Gift of the Cades Foundation, 1996 

Through a selection of paintings, drawings, and prints, the exhibition examines the similar tendencies and unique characteristics of these four remarkable artists. In doing so, it seeks to trace the complicated channels of influence and inspiration within the often-overlooked multiculturalism of American art before the Second World War. 

Miguel Covarrubias, Portrait of a Filipino Woman, n.d., watercolor on paper, Courtesy Estrellita B. Brodsky Collection 

This exhibition is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.