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Geometric Unconscious: A Century of Abstraction
University of Nebraska Press
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Inspired by the Sheldon Museum of Art's holdings in geometric abstraction, this book introduces adventurous new thinking about a visual approach that has captivated both artists and viewers for more than a century. Four richly illustrated essays explore the European genesis of geometric abstraction, its translation into an American context, and its current direction, charting the style's aesthetic, intellectual, and social implications.
Sharon L. Kennedy's essay draws on the Sheldon's collection to trace the style's beginnings and its various transformations by twentieth-century American artists. Peter Halley invokes contemporary theory in rethinking how postmodern artists engage with geometry while challenging its most basic presumptions. Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe delves into the work of four contemporary artists who are taking geometry in new directions, and Jorge Daniel Veneciano reveals the persistent manner in which theorists and defenders of geometric abstraction have obscured aspects of its history and contributed to the esoteric aura of modern art.
Featured throughout are full-color reproductions of art from both the Sheldon and private collections, including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by diverse artists such as Ilya Bolotowsky, Carmen Herrera, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Piet Mondrian, Odili Donald Odita, Frank Stella, and Charmion von Wiegand.