press release

Trough 05.06.2021

Degree Zero: Drawing at Midcentury
(November 01, 2020 – February 06, 2021)

The Museum of Modern Art announces Degree Zero: Drawing at Midcentury, an exhibition that will showcase approximately 100 drawings made between 1948 and 1961 exclusively from the Museum’s collection. Degree Zero: Drawing at Midcentury will look across movements, geographies, and generations to highlight connections between diverse artists who embraced drawing to forge a new visual language in the aftermath of World War II. Modest, immediate, and direct, drawing—to use a phrase that circulated among artists and writers during these years—was the ideal “degree zero” medium for this “degree zero” moment. Within this impulse common to artists from across the world, drawing took many forms, from the abstract to the figurative, the organic to the hard-edged. Whether in scrawled graffiti or looping calligraphy, featuring reduced geometry or recording movement via mark-making, these works share similar conceptual and material concerns that manifested specifically in the medium.

Degree Zero: Drawing at Midcentury is organized by Samantha Friedman, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints.

Generous support for the exhibition is provided by the Dian Woodner Exhibition Endowment Fund.
Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, the Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, The Contemporary Arts Council, Eva and Glenn Dubin, Alice and Tom Tisch, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment, The David Rockefeller Council, the Eyal and Marilyn Ofer Family Exhibition Fund, the Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, and Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, and Brett and Daniel Sundheim, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.