Mondrian, Nicholson and 20th Century Abstraction

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN,
March 03, 2012

This conference will respond to the stimulus offered by the exhibition Mondrian/Nicholson: In Parallel, to explore the issues raised by the kind of non-figurative art for which Mondrian and Nicholson stood in the 1930s and after. What was specific to this kind of art both in the particular achievements of these two artists and more generally? How could it assert its importance in the 1930s, and what could it mean in a decade in which Utopian optimism met anxiety and fear in the descent towards war? Was there, despite Barr’s judgement, a future for what he dubbed ‘geometrical abstraction’, even beyond Mondrian’s death in 1944 and beyond the Second World War?

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