Shaping Reality: Geometric Abstraction after 1960
Contemporary Works on Paper Gallery 263
The resurgence of geometric abstraction in the 1960s and ‘70s grew out of the international dominance of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s and ‘50s. In seeking new forms of abstract art, leading artists of the American and European avant-garde began to reinvestigate the formal and conceptual power of simple geometric forms set in non-illusionistic space.
The various contemporary art movements grouped under the banner of geometric abstraction—Post-painterly abstraction, Hard Edge painting, Color Field painting, Op Art, Minimalism—are all indebted to the early 20th-century experiments of such pioneering modernists as Vassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Josef Albers, and Piet Mondrian. These and other Russian and European painters rejected representational and narrative conventions, inventing a nonobjective visual language that emphasized fundamental pictorial elements—color, line, form, shape, texture, and composition. It is their achievements and legacy upon which contemporary developments in geometric abstraction were built.
Drawn from the MIA’s permanent collection of contemporary art, the exhibition highlights important editioned prints and portfolios and a selection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, and multiples.