After spending two years in Paris, where he had built the Pavilion of the Republic for the International Exposition, Josep Lluís Sert (Barcelona, 1902 – 1983) decided to go into exile in New York. On reaching the city in the summer of 1939 he met many other European architects and artists who had been forced to leave the continent during the World War II. Sert’s work and writings from this period show the tumultuous confluence of European and North American culture against the background of the war.

The MACBA exhibition focused on this New York period (1939 - 1957) with a particular emphasis on Sert’s key role in the reformulation of modern architecture during the post-war period, and illustrated the difficult encounter between the European architecture of the CIAM and the North American tradition.
It included original drawings and sketches – many of them exhibited for the first time – and an extensive collection of photographic documents. The collaboration between Sert and other artists was illustrated through oils, bas-reliefs and sculptures by Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger, Hans Hofmann and Constantino Nivola. The exhibition also included projections of the films 8x8 (1957) and Dadascope (1961), produced by Hans Richter in collaboration with Calder, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Friedrich Kiesler and Sert.