Guernica, Picasso’s painting for the Spanish Republican Pavilion in the International Exposition of Arts and Techniques of Paris in 1937, had a strong impact on the New York School.
It was first exhibited in New York City in May 1939 as a political icon within a campaign to raise funds for the Spanish Republic refugees. In November 1939 it was exhibited again, but this time as an undisputed modern art masterpiece within a great retrospective exhibition on Picasso’s oeuvre at the Museum of Modern Art. In keeping with these two meanings, Guernica became an important stimulus for abstract expressionist artists. In it they found a way to express the connection between the artist’s inner self and the problems of his time, which confirmed the social role of the artist as an individual.