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Resisting Abstraction
Author: Gordon Hughes

ISBN: 9780226159065
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 1 December 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 27.9 x 21.6 x 1.91
The first English-language study of the influential French painter Robert Delaunay to appear in thirty years. Delaunay has long been appreciated as one of the leading Parisian artists of the early twentieth century. And art historians have consistently viewed his vibrantly colored paintings starting in 1912 as early experiments in abstraction. Hughes, however, tautly argues that Delaunay was not just one of the earliest artists to work in pure abstraction, but the earliest one to do so. The colorful, optically driven canvases that Delaunay produced set him apart from the more ethereal abstraction of Kandinsky, Mondrian, Malevich, and Kupka, with whom he is often clubbed and whose spiritual motivations he rejected. Delaunay's paintings were grounded in material sensation and reflected the modern optical science of his time. They had nothing in common with the idealism that drove Kandinsky and the others. As a result, his work set the stage not only for the kind of abstraction that would come to dominate painting in the mid twentieth century (Pollock, Stella, Still, Kline); it also inspired the critics who theorized and elevated that particular strain of modernist practice.

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