František Kupka. Localization of Graphic Motifs II. 1912–13. Oil on canvas, 78 3⁄4 × 76 3/8″ (200 × 194 cm), frame: 78 3⁄4 × 76 3/8″ (200 × 194 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund and Gift of Jan and Meda Mladek. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925

December 23, 2012–April 15, 2013 The Museum of Modern Art
  • The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 6, Exhibition Galleries

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, 1910–1925 celebrates the centennial of this bold new type of artwork, tracing 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. The exhibition brings together many of the most influential works in abstraction’s early history and covers a wide range of artistic production, including paintings, drawings, books, sculptures, films, photographs, sound poems, atonal music, and non-narrative dance, to draw a cross-media portrait of these watershed years.

Organized by Leah Dickerman, Curator, with Masha Chlenova, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

The exhibition is made possible by Hanjin Shipping.

Major support is provided by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Blavatnik Family Foundation, Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis, and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The accompanying seminars are made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

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