Inventing Abstraction

I spent my visit at MoMA exploring the exhibition Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925. It was really interesting. While it was about the invention of abstraction, hence the title, it was really about the power of networks. In fact, the wall leading into the exhibit has this illustration that shows the connections between the various artists involved in abstraction. As you move through the exhibit you see, both in the text and through the work, how these connections played out and how the artists influenced each other, both directly and indirectly.

A fascinating reminder that the internet didn’t invent the idea of networks, it has just created new ways for us to connect. I was amused to see a notation that one artist sailed off to a new land with a “letter of introduction” from another artist to present to yet another artist upon his arrival in the new land. Today you would do this through LinkedIN. Same result, of course. Just a new technology.