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UAL Research Online

Abstract Art (Movements in Modern Art Series)

Gooding, Mel (2001) Abstract Art (Movements in Modern Art Series). Tate Publishing. ISBN 1854373021

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Gooding, Mel

An historical and typological survey of abstract art in the twentieth century, rejecting the widely accepted notion that the story of abstraction can be traced as a succession of stylistic trends each set within its own art historical context, offering instead readings of specific works by artists as diverse as Kasimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Naum Gabo, Piet Mondrian, Willem de Kooning and Lucio Fontana, and treating them as exemplary of particular tendencies within the overlapping histories of abstraction.

The central issues addressed by the book concern the philosophical distinctions that underlie the various manifestations of international abstract art, and the critical weaknesses of a history of abstraction that dealt with it as a series of discrete ‘movements’. This publication offers readings of specific paintings and sculptures treating them as exemplary of particular tendencies within an overlapping, non-linear history of abstraction. Defining distinctions between types of abstract art that may appear similar, and discovering underlying correspondences between those that may seem different, enables the reader to identify links between abstract works across traditional art-historical periods.

The primary critical approach used isolates individual works, and analyses them specifically in their historical and philosophical contexts. Following an introduction that explores the problems of definition in an historical context, the book is divided into four main sections: dealing with the great metaphysical abstractionists of the early twentieth century; tracing the relations of Cubism to photography; investigating Tatlin’s materialism and the international constructivisms of de Stijl, El Lizzitsky, Gabo, Moholy-Nagy and Vordemberge-Gildewart; and exploring the diverse transformations of the abstract idea in art effected in post-war New York and Europe, including considerations of Abstract Expressionism, European existential abstraction, abstraction and the visible natural world, and the spiritual abstractions of such artists as Ad Reinhardt, Klein, Fontana and Agnes Martin among others.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Tate Publishing
Your affiliations with UAL: Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 2001
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2009 14:04
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2010 13:56
Item ID: 1825
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1825

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