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White: Composition. Tension. Balance. Light
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Art History.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8021-8381
2014 (English)In: The Infinite White Abyss: Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian / [ed] Marion Ackermann & Isabelle Malz, Köln: Snoeck , 2014, 247-260 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

»The white, free abyss – infinity lies before us«, according to Kazimir Malevich in 1919 when describing his use of white as a monochrome ground in »Suprematist painting« and as a surface in front of which his geometric shapes seem to float weightlessly. For Wassily Kandinsky, the compositional white area in his expressive abstractions was the all-important opening of pictorial space through which the complexity of the world was to be reflected synaesthetically and thereby art simultaneously ranked alongside science. Piet Mondrian, for his part, tried to find universal harmonies through the depiction of mathematical problems behind visible phenomena. His exploration of »non-colour« in his grids of black lines and primary coloured surfaces forms a »neoplastic system« devoid of any representational function and is unique in the history of painting. On the occasion of the 2014 Quadrennial, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen will premiere an attractive synopsis the work of these three great artists, considered the most prominent pioneers of the avant-garde and of abstraction in the twentieth century. The show will focus upon selected major works and the complex issue of white surfaces, all which is meticulously recreated the catalogue. The discussion of materiality and immateriality of the colour white arising here is also reflected in the latest research results from the restoration process. This leads to some surprising answers that are treated separately. If the colour white provided an umbrella for art, science and parareligions, did it necessarily have to function as a symbol of a future world?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Köln: Snoeck , 2014. 247-260 p.
National Category
Art History Design
Research subject
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116163ISBN: 978-3-86442-081-8OAI: diva2:802312

Exhibition catalogue K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf 296 p with 160 coloured illustrations

Available from: 2015-04-12 Created: 2015-04-12 Last updated: 2015-12-02Bibliographically approved

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Tillberg, Margareta
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