Altoon Sultan blogs about some of the lesser known and most surprising early 20th century abstract paintings in the exhibition Inventing Abstraction: 1910 - 1925 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on view through April 15, 2013.
Sultan highlights "work that of artists I didn't know at all, or surprising works by artists I thought I knew" including Ivan Kliun, El Lissitzky, Vasily Kandinsky, Vaslav Nijinsky, Giacomo Balla, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saundersm Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Wladyslaw Strzeminski, Waclaw Szpakowski, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp. "What was so marvelous about this show," Sultan notes, "was the sheer range of expression, the wide variety of styles coming out of the idea to leave representation behind."
The exhibition, McKenzie writes, "seeks to re-evaluate the work of Duncan Grant (1885-1978) and Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) and their relationship with the avant-garde... Indeed, the Bloomsbury artists' lives were as complex and dramatic as the period itself, with the insecurity and complexity of wartime, changed partnerships, love affairs, and personal tragedy. The period and artists have both been done a great service by the new exhibition."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.