CONTEMPORARY ART MOVEMENTS

PUBLISHER
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 12 in. / 376 pgs / 446 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
PUB DATE
Active

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D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE
CATALOG: FALL 2012 p. 16   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780870708282 TRADE
LIST PRICE: $75.00 CDN $90.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

New York
The Museum of Modern Art, 12/23/12-04/15/13

A centennial celebration of modernism’s greatest innovation.

In 1910 Kandinsky made the first modern abstract painting; in 1911, the Italian Futurists Bruno Corra and Arnaldo Ginna made the first abstract films; in 1913, inspired by the Futurists, Wyndham Lewis made his first Vorticist abstractions; in 1915, Malevich painted his "Black Square"; in 1916, Mondrian and Van Doesburg founded De Stijl; and in 1921, Man Ray made his first photograms.

  

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925

Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York
By Leah Dickerman. Text by Matthew Affron, Yve-Alain Bois, Masha Chlenova, Ester Coen, Christoph Cox, Hubert Damisch, Rachael DeLue, Hal Foster, Mark Franko, Matthew Gale, Peter Galison, Maria Gough, Jodi Hauptman, Gordon Hughes, David Joselit, Anton Kaes, David Lang, Susan Laxton, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Jaroslav Suchan, Lanka Tatersall, Michael R. Taylor.

Featured image, a still from Marcel Duchamp's film <I>Anemic Cinema</I> (made under the name Rrose Sélavy), is reproduced from <I>Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925</I>.In 1912, in several European cities, a handful of artists--Vasily Kandinsky, Frantisek Kupka, Francis Picabia and Robert Delaunay--presented the first abstract pictures to the public. Inventing Abstraction, published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, celebrates the centennial of this bold new type of artwork. It traces the development of abstraction as it moved through a network of modern artists, from Marsden Hartley and Marcel Duchamp to Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, sweeping across nations and across media. This richly illustrated publication covers a wide range of artistic production--including paintings, drawings, books, sculptures, film, photography, sound poetry, atonal music and non-narrative dance--to draw a cross-media portrait of these watershed years. An introductory essay by Leah Dickerman, Curator in the Museum’s Department of Painting and Sculpture, is followed by focused studies of key groups of works, events and critical issues in abstraction’s early history by renowned scholars from a variety of fields.

Featured image, a still from Marcel Duchamp's film Anemic Cinema (made under the name Rrose Sélavy), is reproduced from Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Choice

E. Baden

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.

Art in America

Daniel Marcus

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.

Art in America

Arne Glimcher

Featuring twenty-four contributors, this MoMA catalogue explores the evolution of early modernist abstraction across various mediums, countries and movements.

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925

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STAFF REVIEW

Inventing Abstraction 1910-1925 looks at the dizzying diversity of idioms and ideals that drove abstraction in its first decade and a half-not just in painting, but also in sculpture, photography, film, dance, poetry and music. Behind the wonderful concision of this ambitious book's title there stretches a long, boggling rollcall of heroic modernist '-isms': Italian and Russian Futurism, Vorticism, Suprematism, Constructivism, Non-Objectivism, NeoPlasticism, Synchronism, Orphism and so on. To name only a few of the breakthrough moments it encompasses: in 1910 Kandinsky made the first modern abstract painting; in 1911, the Italian Futurists Bruno Corra and Arnaldo Ginna made the first abstract films; in 1913, inspired by the Futurists, Wyndham Lewis made his first Vorticist abstractions; in 1915, Malevich painted his "Black Square"; in 1916, Mondrian and Van Doesburg founded De Stijl; and in 1921, Man Ray made his first photograms.
Often these various schools of abstraction seem to contradict one another ideologically, conjuring the image of a Rorschach abstraction contest, in which Malevich and Wyndham Lewis row over a Mondrian painting that might depict either sacred geometry or a game of battleships. For Vladimir Tatlin, Constructivist abstraction offered a new materialist clarity and honesty, for a new proletarian art; whereas Italian Futurist abstractions celebrated machine energies and a warfaring aggression, that soon led the movement down the opposite route towards Fascism. For Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich, abstraction was initially an expression of spiritual ideals; whereas for Marsden Hartley, in his 1914 "Portrait of a German Officer," abstraction allowed him to express a highly coded heraldic commemoration of his wartime affair with a German officer.
But Inventing Abstraction doesn't stop at the visual arts: also explored here are the visual poetries of Apollinaire, Cendrars and Kruchenyk, and the music of Luigi Russolo and Edgard Varese. The Museum of Modern Art's exhibition promises to be one of those landmark reappraisal shows, and the importance and range of the works included, and the caliber of its contributors, ensure that this book will become a standard art history publication. -- Thomas Evans
Artbook | D.A.P. Staff

 



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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/11/2013

Inventing Abstraction: Last Chance to See How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art

Inventing Abstraction: Last Chance to See How a Radical Idea Changed Modern ArtAnyone who has not made it to MoMA to see the landmark exhibition, Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art, has one last chance this weekend. Run, do not walk, to see this universally acclaimed show, curated by Leah Dickerman to span all media—including painting, drawing, print publication, sculpture, film, photography, sound poetry, atonal music and non-narrative dance—which The New York Times' Roberta Smith called "a marvel of a diagram, a creative circuitry variously visual, aural and kinetic, whose radiating lines yield new sights and insights at every juncture." Featured image, Marsden Hartley's "Painting, Number 5" (1914-15), is reproduced from MoMA's equally essential exhibition catalog. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/13/2013

Inventing Abstraction: Last Chance to See How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art
The Birth of Non-narrative Dance

Inventing Abstraction: Last Chance to See How a Radical Idea Changed Modern ArtAnyone who has not made it to MoMA to see the landmark exhibition, Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art, has one last chance this weekend. Run, do not walk, to see this universally acclaimed show, curated by Leah Dickerman to span all media—including painting, drawing, print publication, sculpture, film, photography, sound poetry, atonal music and non-narrative dance—which The New York Times' Roberta Smith called "a marvel of a diagram, a creative circuitry variously visual, aural and kinetic, whose radiating lines yield new sights and insights at every juncture." Featured photograph, by Hugo Erfurth, is of Mary Wigman performing "Hexentanz I (Witch Dance 1)" in 1914. Reproduced from MoMA's equally essential exhibition catalog, it can also be seen alongside an extract from the 1930 film, "Mary Wigman Tanzt" on the Inventing Abstraction Website. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/20/2012

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: 'A Dizzying, Magisterial Cornucopia'

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: 'A Dizzying, Magisterial Cornucopia'In the December 20 New York Times, Roberta Smith writes, "In the second decade of the 20th century, abstraction became the holy grail of modern art. It was pursued with feverish intent by all kinds of creative types in Europe, Russia and elsewhere, responding to assorted spurs: Cubism and other deviations from old-fashioned realism, the beautiful whiteness of the blank page, communion with nature, spiritual aspirations, modern machines and everyday noise.
Painters, sculptors, poets, composers, photographers, filmmakers and choreographers alike ventured into this new territory, struggling to sever Western art’s age-old link with legible images, narrative logic, harmonic structure and rhyme. It was a thrilling, terrifying process, and in terms of the history of art, it is one of the greatest stories ever told. Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925, a dizzying, magisterial cornucopia opening on Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art, captures something of that original thrill and terror, in a lineup of works that show artists embracing worldliness and, in some cases, withdrawing into mystical purity. The show brings new breadth and detail and a new sense of collectivity to a familiar tale that is, for the Modern, also hallowed ground." Featured image, Fernand Léger's "Contrast of Forms" (1913), is reproduced from Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925. continue to blog


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