Abstraction in the 20th Century: Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline

ISBN 10: 0810968908 / ISBN 13: 9780810968905
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Synopsis: Abstraction is undoubtedly the most dramatic development in the history of twentieth-century painting and sculpture. Pioneered in the 1910s by Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian, abstraction radically changed the course of art. it has influenced almost every important twentieth-century Western art movement, including De Stijl, Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Postmodernism, and continues as a tradition still energetically expanded upon today.
Abstract art intends only to be, independent of any reference to the visible, physical world. This simple premise has inspired an extraordinary variety of practices and an equally diverse and compelling body of theoretical interpretations. Some abstract artists have held that this kind of art preserves the individual's uniqueness against a buffeting, all-pervasive material culture, and have claimed for their work a sublime vision; others have denied any meaning altogether. What they have in common is their determination to strip art down to pure expressivity, often manifested in correspondingly pure, formal terms. By eliminating the world of appearances from their works, abstract artists have operated on an aesthetic frontier - what Mondrian called "the edge of the abyss" - and have explored new aesthetic territory with an adventurous spirit that another artist, Eva Hesse, described in 1969 as "total risk, freedom, discipline." For them, abstraction offers a voyage of self-discovery and holds out the possibility of maintaining faith in the power of Art.

From Library Journal: The author of several important titles on contemporary art such as Anselm Kiefer (Prestel, 1987) and, more recently, Critiques of Pure Abstraction: A Traveling Exhibition (D.A.P., 1995), Rosenthal here attempts to summarize abstract art and its influence over the past 100 years. Moreover, he successfully makes this monumental task look astonishingly easy, as he ably translates complex issues into enjoyable prose. He sticks to the facts without losing our interest or filling us only with his opinions. Often, much is said through intelligently placed quotes and visual examples that truly illuminate. A catalog for this spring's exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, this book traces the history of abstract art from Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Malevich to the postmodern period. Whether stemming from spiritual sources, personal expression, or formal concerns, each line of thinking is carefully defined within the context of the artists and their major critics. An excellent survey that will clarify for many just what abstract art is all about; highly recommended.?Susan M. Olcott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Title: Abstraction in the 20th Century: Total Risk,...
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Book Description Guggenheim Museum Pubns, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +. Beautiful hardcover in decorative dust jacket. Black band on jacket has a closed tear on the back cover. Near fine hardcover in very good + jacket. This book would make a great gift. Full refund if not satisfied. Seller Inventory # 024209

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Book Description The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: VG. Black cloth, black & color illus. dust jacket, 310 pp., 315 color illus. 21 BW illus.; weighs 6.5 lbs. Issued in conjunction with a 1996 exhibition that "includes reproductions of works by the major practitioners of abstraction, including Constantin Brancusi, Hesse, Donald Judd, Kandinsky, Yves Klein, Frantisek Kipka, Richard Long, Malevich, Agnes Martin, Joan Miro, Mondrian, Jackson Pollack, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Vladimir Tatlin, and many more. . Abstraction emerges as something more forceful and ambitious, more resilient and characteristic of the century, than has previously been recognized." (dj). Seller Inventory # 141297

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