2013 Inventing Abstraction

Inventing Abstraction 1910–1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art

2013 Dedalus Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award Winner


The Inventing Abstraction catalogue accompanied the exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, which celebrated the centennial of the emergence of abstract artwork in Europe. It focuses on the first fifteen years of the development of abstract art, tracing the movement of ideas between social networks of artists and the dissemination of information through abstraction’s first critics. Lushly illustrated and beautifully designed, this publication examines a broad range of media including painting, drawing, music, dance, poetry, sculpture, film, and photography.


Leah Dickerman, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, introduces the catalogue with an engaging history of the birth of abstraction through personal anecdotes about its leading artists and a description of the way this new art form arose from an exchange of ideas and the melding of different media. The introductory essay is followed by a series of articles by distinguished scholars that address crucial works, events, and ideas.