Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925 Project

The Chart

“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 is generally understood.”


What (or who) are the nodes and what are the edges?

The nodes are the artists who contributed to the development of abstract art, which uses a visual language of shape, form, color, and line to create a composition that may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. The edges represent the connection between these artists who were in different parts of the world, yet had similar works that developed abstract art. 

How was the project created?

This project was produced as a collaboration between the exhibition’s curatorial and design team and Paul Ingram, Kravis Professor of Business, and Mitali Banerjee, doctoral candidate, Columbia Business School

For example, in the picture below we can see Pablo Picasso as the main node of the network that shares many edges with other artists who produced similar works contributing toward the development of abstract art. In fact, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked together to invent Cubism, which was a revolutionary new approach to representing reality. Clicking on the node will prompt a profile of the artist that showcases his works.

The Network of Pablo Picasso

One Comment

  1. This is really interesting, especially the analysis on Pablo Picasso. I also like how you start your post with a quote from MoMA, as it is a location which I am used to! Thank you for a very detailed explanation of how this website works! I feel like this analysis can provide very useful information on how certain people connect to another.

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