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Inventing Abstraction at MoMA

Friday, January 18, 2013

Leah Dickerman, Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, talks about the exhibition “Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925.” Commemorating the centennial of invention of abstraction, the exhibition brings together over 350 works—including paintings, drawings, prints, books, sculptures, films, photographs, recordings, and dance pieces—to offer a sweeping survey of a radical moment when the rules of art making were fundamentally transformed.

Q2 Music, WQXR's online contemporary classical station, is presenting a unique musical installation. "Reinventing Music, 1910-1925" is an enclosed space in the MoMA galleries where visitors can listen to forward-looking music composed between 1910 and 1925, including works by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Debussy, and Ives. Find out more here.

Vasily Kandinsky. Impression III (Konzert) [Impression III (Concert)]. 1911. Oil on canvas, 30 7/8 x 39 9/16″ (77.5 x 100.5 cm).

Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo courtesy of: the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

František Kupka. Localisation des mobiles graphiques II (Localization of graphic motifs II). 1912-13. Oil on canvas, 6’ 6 ¾” x 6’ 4 3/8″ (200 x 194 cm).

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund and Gift of Jan and Meda Mladek. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

Fernand Léger. Contraste de formes (Contrast of forms). 1913. Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 32″ (100.3 x 81.1 cm).

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Philip L. Goodwin Collection. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, Imaging and Visual Resources Department, Jonathan Muzikar

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

Georgia O’Keeffe. Music – Pink and Blue No. 2. 1918. Oil on canvas, 35 × 29 1⁄8″ (88.9 × 74 cm).

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Gift of Emily Fisher Landau in honor of Tom Armstrong. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, photo Sheldan C. Collins.

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

Inventing Abstraction: 1910–1925 Francis Picabia. Dances à la source (Dances at the spring). 1912. Oil on canvas, 8′ 3 1/8″ x 8′ 2″ (251.8 x 248.9 cm).

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Collection, given by their family. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, Imaging and Visual Resources Department, Jonathan Muzikar

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

Liubov’ Popova. Zhivopisnaia arkhitektonika (Painterly architectonic). 1917. Oil on canvas, 31 1/2 x 38 5/8″ (80 x 98 cm).

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Philip Johnson Fund. Photo courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, Imaging and Visual Resources Department, John Wronn.

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

Morgan Russell. Synchromy in Orange: To Form. 1913-1914. Oil on canvas, 11’3″ x 10’1½” (342.9 x 308.6 cm).

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery Buffalo, New York. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr. © 2012 Peyton Wright Gallery. Photo courtesy of Albright-Knox Art Gallery / Art Resource, NY.

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

 

Kazimir Malevich. Zhivopisnyi realizm mal’chika s rantsem-krasochnye massy v 4-m izmerenii. (Painterly realism of a boy with a knapsack color masses in the 4th dimension). 1915.

Oil on canvas, 28 x 17 1/2″ (71.1 x 44.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 1935 Acquisition confirmed in 1999 by agreement with the Estate of Kazimir Malevich and made possible with funds from the Mrs. John Hay Whitney Bequest (by exchange). Photo courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, Imaging and Visual Resources Department, John Wronn.

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Untitled (Triptych).1918.

Oil on canvas on board, three panels, left: 44 1⁄8 × 20 7⁄8″ (112 × 53 cm), center: 44 1⁄8 × 20 9⁄16″ (112 × 52.2 cm), right: 44 1⁄8 × 20 1⁄2″ (112 × 52 cm). Kunsthaus Zurich. Gift of Jean Arp © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy Kunsthaus Zürich, © ARS, New York/ProLitteris, Zürich

From Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, on view at MoMA through April 15, 2013.

Guests:

Leah Dickerman
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Comments [9]

Clark Richert from Denver

who did the intense frontal dance film in the "inventing abstraction" show?

Mar. 19 2013 03:42 AM
melinsky from Palo Alto, Ca

I love this art it excites me. It is the birth of a new language broad casting multiple meanings. It,s like the treasures of pharaoh. These abstractions are a complete break in visual thought and memory. Read Jung...he will help you get it, philistines. The forms, the patterns have a history, every culture produces them. When held beliefs fail we explore the unknown and look for newness. This art continues to live in the works of Stella, Martin, Kelly, and so many other artists of merit.

Jan. 21 2013 03:31 PM
David

I saw the exhibit yesterday. Fascinating exhibit. Displayed many Russian artists and Italian futurists who I had never even heard of—let alone seen any of their work.

Jan. 18 2013 05:52 PM
oscar from ny

I'm an artist and i found out that you can communicate thru a drawing to an individual or a group using alchemy, it has an impressionists tone but you can use any form of colors, graphic art, music, anything using the latest issues and understanding and portray a drawing or painting that can be fun and personal.

Jan. 18 2013 01:29 PM
TP

jgarbuz, stick to politics. your ignorance is showing here.

Jan. 18 2013 01:24 PM
tom barlow from astoria

correction of earlier comment:

Has your guest considered the abstraction found throughout the history of art, such as the absolutely free brushwork in great masterpieces from ancient Chinese painting; there, freedom and diciplined representation is combined. Also, they recognized calligraphy and brushstroke as art in itself beyond representation, long before the period of Western 'abstract' pioneers. Other cultures did the same. As a working artist I find the next wave of abstraction will be embedded in a new, freer representational art. I'm working on it right now.

Jan. 18 2013 01:19 PM
Laura from UWS

First abstract painting? Maybe by Čiurlionis.

BTW, the French couldn't bear the idea of totally abstract, non-representational art. They considered it cold and "Nordic" (the widow of artist Albert Gleizes told me this).

To Mondrian and many of his followers, abstract art was spiritual...with a social message.....Universality.....Artist Jean Helion told me he believed this but that later he went back to the figure because he didn't want to deprive himself of it any more.

Jan. 18 2013 01:17 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I'm a philistine. I don't "get" modern "art." I understand that after the invention of the camera and photography, there was a marked decrease in the need for portrait painters whose living depended on it.
To me, "modern art" is the way some artists figured out how to make a living without having the basic skills to paint realistically.
As I said, I am a philistine when it comes to "art."

Jan. 18 2013 01:13 PM
tom barlow from Astoria

Has your guest considered the abstraction frund throughut the history of art, such as the absolutely free brushwork in great masterpieces from ancient Chinese painting,; there is freedom and diciplined representation combined. from As a working artist I find the next wave of abstraction will be embedded in a new, freer representational art. I'm working on it right now.

Jan. 18 2013 01:13 PM

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