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Surprising Early Abstraction

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Altoon Sultan blogs about some of the lesser known and most surprising early 20th century abstract paintings in the exhibition Inventing Abstraction: 1910 – 1925 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on view through April 15, 2013.

Sultan highlights "work that of artists I didn't know at all, or surprising works by artists I thought I knew" including Ivan Kliun, El Lissitzky, Vasily Kandinsky, Vaslav Nijinsky, Giacomo Balla, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saundersm Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Wladyslaw Strzeminski, Waclaw Szpakowski, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp. "What was so marvelous about this show," Sultan notes, "was the sheer range of expression, the wide variety of styles coming out of the idea to leave representation behind."

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