Modern Minute: Max Weber, "The Dancers" (1948)

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Modern Minute: Max Weber, "The Dancers" (1948)

Belinda Tate of the Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University discusses Max Weber's The Dancers, on view in the Museum's exhibition Reynolda Moderns

Modern Minute: "Dancers" Max Weber

Reynolda House is grateful for the generous support of Reynolda Moderns from media sponsor Our State magazine.

[TRANSCRIPT] Belinda Tate, Diggs Gallery: Max Weber, “The Dancers” 1948


Max Weber ranks prominently among the pioneers of modernism in American art. He embraced and mastered most of the avant garde ideas of his generation, producing progressive works of art in a variety of mediums and styles. I am particularly drawn to Weber’s work because of his commitment to addressing cultural and spiritual themes within a liberated artistic mode, and because he was one of many modernists influenced by traditional African art and its reordering of shape and form.


“The Dancers” is a superb example of Weber’s distinct figuration and his linear expressionist style. He masterfully uses overlapping colors and lively brushwork to create a sense of movement, sound, and emotion within the picture plane. When you observe this work in person, notice the energy generated by the physical gestures of these two engaging characters. Notice the active interplay between the smooth and agitated lines which form their curvilinear bodies, and appreciate the depth of communication that exists between the two between the intensity and simplicity of their eyes.


Max Weber was not only a groundbreaking artist, but he was also a poet and in his own words:


An artist should have a range


from tear to laughter

from visible to invisible

from the obvious to infinity


-Max Weber, Cubist Poems, 1914.



Belinda, thank you for sharing Weber's poem along with your insightful comments!

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