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elements

May 27 - June 26, 2010

Madeleine Dietz and Annette Sauermann

“Geometric abstraction is a current that has risen repeatedly to the surface of modern art since the early twentieth century. Emerging after World War I, and inspired, in part, by ideas underlying the visual disjunctions of analytic cubism, certain European and Russian artists theorized visions of utopia that could be advanced by the creation and use of a universal artistic language. Imbued with reverence for technology, mathematics and science, avant-garde artists believed that geometric forms–derived from logic and reason lacking all reference to the natural world– could promote the ideals of the new communist state following the 1917 Russian Revolution and advance goals of Europeans who had suffered the devastations of war. In advocating the employment of a mechanical aesthetics that avoided all evidence of symbolism and spiritualism, these artists granted to abstract art the power to restructure the physical world and contribute to social harmony. Thus, geometric abstraction was far more than a style. It was a philosophy.”

— Virginia K. Adams, Ph.D., “Geometric Abstraction: From Utopian Vision to Private Language,” elements catalogue essay

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