Utopias of Abstract Art
University of Helsinki, open panel at the Fourth Biennial Conference of the European Network for Avant-garde and Modernism Studies (www.eam2014.com)
The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to 5 February. At that time we will close!
The early pioneers of abstract art, Wassily Kandinsky, František Kupka, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian, shared the belief that art should not serve the reproduction of visible reality but be an expression of the absolute. Fascinated by esoteric ideas, occultism, and theosophy, they viewed art, and, in particular, the abstract approach, as a medium to advance human creative evolution and lead the way into a new age of spiritual renewal. The interwar period saw a secularization of the spiritual concerns of early abstraction; artists turned to science and technology and the ideals of modern industrial production. This panel will examine the utopian ideals that were closely intertwined with the production of abstract art, whose proponents derived their inspiration from metaphysics, the natural sciences, and modern technology and equated spiritual and technological advancement with social progress. The focus will not be so much on Constructivism but rather the ideas and theories, including anarchism, evolution, and Lebensreform, which shaped the artists’ worldviews and their artistic production.
Chair: Isabel Wünsche, Professor of Art and Art History, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany (i.wunschejacobs-university.de)
All the submissions will be done through online abstract submission form
CFP: Utopias of Abstract Art (Helsinki, 29-31 Aug 14). In: ArtHist.net, Jan 10, 2014 (accessed Mar 31, 2023), <https://arthist.net/archive/6708>.