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Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925
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Dickerman urges against defning abstraction in terms of forward progress... less interested in the invention of abstraction than abstraction as invention. The main impact of this horizontalist approach is geographic, bringing peripheral sites into focus without denying the importance of major hubs.--Daniel Marcus "Art in America "
Featuring twenty-four contributors, this MoMA catalogue explores the evolution of early modernist abstraction across various mediums, countries and movements.--Arne Glimcher "Art in America "
Three quarters of a century after Alfred Barr, founding director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, mounted the landmark 1936 exhibition Cubism and Abtract Art, MoMA curator Dickerman returns to the realm with a vast exhibition and comprehensive catalogue depicting the incipient stages of abtraction in the plastic arts. Situating the movement from a representation toward abstraction as a synchronic historical moment, as well as one of modernism's principal activities, this Eurocentric organizational feat elaborates a network based on cross talk, spontaneity, and simultaneous development. The front endpapers of the catalogue offer a graphic spread that plays off Barr's legendary chart - the cover to his exhibition's catalogue - acanonical lineage of begotten isms. Dickerman's updated diagram turns reader's view to a distributed web of networks and memes in an endeavor that highlights connectivity over paternity. Even with his intended catholic aopproach, painting and the two - dimensional flattened spatial constructs of pictorial space overwhelmingly predominate. Music is accorded a seminal role; sculpture and film are underrepresented; typographic space and artists' books are thankfully recognized. A terrific collection of diverse short essays by nearly 30 scholars complement this intelligently edited, well- illustrated, and indispensable resource.--E. Baden "Choice "

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