Americans in Paris Exhibition Review:
“How Postwar Paris Changed the Expat Artists”
The New York Times, April 25, 2024

Black and white photo of a woman, Claire Falkenstein, looking out of a window, with a wire sculpture in the foreground.

An exhibition at the Grey Art Museum explores the fervid postwar scene in Paris, where Ellsworth Kelly, Joan Mitchell and others learned lessons America couldn’t teach them.

By Karen Rosenberg

Most people looking to make it as artists today are advised to follow a hyper-professionalized path, beginning with enrollment at one of a select group of M.F.A. programs. But as a new exhibition reminds us, it wasn’t always this way. “Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France, 1946-1962,” at the Grey Art Museum at N.Y.U., celebrates the convivial, informal and often self-directed education of expatriates in the French capital after World War II.

“Americans in Paris” inaugurates the university’s relocated and renamed art space; it has moved from Washington Square, where it was known as the Grey Art Gallery, several blocks east, to Cooper Square.

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Image: Claire Falkenstein at her studio with Leda #2 (1953; location unknown) in the foreground, Paris, c. 1953; Photographer unknown; © Claire Falkenstein Foundation; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY