DH Project Exploration: Inventing Abstraction

Inventing Abstraction is a DH project provides information about the artists that contributed to abstract art between 1910-1925. Its goal is to celebrate the bold, new art form and track its development through a network of artists. The form of data visualization is a network graph, shown below.

Each node represents an artist from that time period that contributed to the development of abstract art. Edges connect artists from different parts of the world whose acquaintance with one another can be documented. Thicker red dots represent larger networks for the artist.

Abstraction was not the inspiration of a solitary genius but the product of network thinking — of ideas moving through a nexus of artists and intellectuals working in different mediums and in far flung places. Its pioneers were more closely linked than generally understood.

Inventing Abstraction

Clicking on an artist accentuates their network and provides educational information such as birthplace, places worked, and pictures of their work. A description of the artists’ art and impact is also provided. Below is Pablo Picasso’s network.

This allows you to dive into greater depth for each artist in the network and learn more about their impact on abstract art. The description provided is detailed; it is more than a mere summary. It includes analysis of impact and critiques from the artist’s time. This interaction ameliorates educational research and is useful to those interested in art history. It allows for a more engaging platform that details the individuals while also highlighting their networks.

Eric Gassel

One Comment

  1. Nice blog post Eric! I love your use of images to show the network you are analyzing, because it really is meant to be shown, not just described! I like the detail you included in this post. I looked at the same DH project and found it very interesting, especially considering the interactivity!

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