Inventing Abstraction at MoMA

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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.

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