Inventing Abstraction is an interactive website accompanying a Museum of Modern Art exhibition that was available in-person between December 2012 and April 2013; however, the website remains. The exhibition’s website is a multimedia visualization that examines the origins of abstraction from the years 1910 to 1925. The visualization is a network diagram connecting the works of 92 artists by country and media to demonstrate the emergence of conception.
The network diagram showcases how abstraction was mainly an individual enterprise. The nodes are the artists, and the edges are their connections by acquaintances, calculated solely based on the number and quality of interpersonal relationships, or connections, a given artist had cultivated. Therefore, the network diagram provides a compass of influence between the artists. Artists highlighted in red are the essential key players, with more than 24 connections. Moreover, the exhibition only took into account documented and traced connections throughout history, and users can explore the ‘Conversations‘ button to some of these artist interactions. Click the ‘Artists‘ button to explore an alphabetized list of featured artists, and see their network diagram better.