The art of the urban realists, and the first phase of American modernism in painting and photography, found their most vibrant expression in the years around World War I. They emerged in tandem with the call for a self-consciously American art that resounded as well in poetry, dance, theater, and movements of social and cultural renewal. Dove, O'Keeffe, and Marin continued their associations with Stieglitz for several more decades, still bound to expressive abstraction while moving into new subjects and new landscapes. Yet their most original contribution to the arts of the new century was made by 1920, as was that of the urban realists around Robert Henri.
In these same years, a separate current of modernism was catalyzed by more direct contact with Europe and with European artists. The Armory Show of 1913, in tandem with the arrival of artists fleeing wartime Europe after 1914, took this current of modern American art beyond its native roots, by introducing an unfamiliar language of irony, by reconceptualizing the practices of art making, and by acknowledging, as no American artist had up to this time, the radical implications of technology on the aesthetic realm.