New Harmony: Abstraction Between the Wars

Paul Klee, New Harmony (Neue Harmonie), 1936, (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum © 20
Paul Klee, New Harmony (Neue Harmonie), 1936, oil on canvas, 36 7/8 × 26 1/8 inches (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 71.1960. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn)

E. Baker reviews the exhibition New Harmony: Abstraction between the Wars, 1919–1939 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, on view through September 8, 2013.

Baker writes: "Drawing a connection between the redrawing of political borders and the subsequent exchange of ideas among previously alienated artists, the exhibition theorizes that the surge of creativity in the 1920s and 30s could have been a direct response to the mingling of Russian Constructivists (who migrated west due to the increasingly conservative Soviet policies against the avant garde) and the radical Dutch conceptualists they encountered. Simultaneously, the Weimar Bauhaus provided a home for abstractionists seeking like-minded collaborators. The sudden fusion of these disparate schools of thought and technique would birth a wide body of new works and approaches to painting and sculpture, with artists like Klee and Miró driving forward radical new ideologies in the creation of abstract works."