'Abstraction has made a surprising comeback in twenty-first century art — often now manifested in previously unrecognisable forms. Not only formal abstraction but also the economic abstraction of global market and media operations are critically investigated by a new generation. Other artists have explored the notion of social abstraction, expressed in strategies of withdrawal. Echoing its avant-garde origins, abstraction has once again been enlisted in the search for new possibilities in art and society.

'Artists surveyed include: Anni Albers, Louise Bourgeois, Daniel Buren, Amilcar de Castro, Lygia Clark, Kajsa Dahlberg, Stephan Dillemuth, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Günther Förg, Liam Gillick, Eva Hesse, Jakob Jakobsen, Donald Judd, Yves Klein, Krijn de Koning, Sol LeWitt, Richard Paul Lohse, Piet Mondrian, Bruce Nauman, Hélio Oiticica, Blinky Palermo, Lygia Pape, Mai-Thu Perret, Tobias Rehberger, Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, Emily Roysdon, Robert Ryman, Mira Schendel, Julian Stanczak, Varvara Stepanova, Hito Steyerl, Cy Twombly.' (Back cover)

Abstraction is one of the Documents of Contemporary Art series, co-published by Whitechapel Gallery and The MIT Press which document major themes and ideas in contemporary art. Other sourcebooks of the same series are also available in the Archive. For more details, please go to this page.
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Documents of Contemporary Art

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Maria LIND

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Chapter headings
Introduction: Abstraction - Maria LIND
Formal Abstraction
Cubism and Abstract Art, 1936 - Alfred BARR
Nature of Abstract Art, 1937 - Meyer SCHAPIRO
The Basis of Concrete Painting, 1930 - Otto Carlsund, Theo van Doesburg, Jean Hélion, Léon Tutundjian, Marcel Wantz
Why Abstract Art?, 2003 - Kirk VARNEDOE
Abstraction, 1986 - Judi Freeman
Geometry of Hope, 2007 - Gabriel PEREZ-BARREIRO
Neo-Concrete Manifesto, 1959 - Amilcar de Castro, Lygia Clark, Ferreira Gullar, Reynaldo Jardim, Claudio Mello e Souza, Lygia Pape, Theon Spanudis, Franz Weissmann
Colour, Time and Structure, 1960 - Helio OITICICA
1965: The Year of Op, 2007 - Joe Houston
Perception is the Medium, 1965 - Bridget RILEY
Eccentric Abstraction, 1966 - Lucy R. LIPPARD
Palermo's Porosity, 2010 - Lynne COOKE
At the Crossroads of the Disciplines: An Economy of Regard, 1991 - Catherine Quéloz
Economic Abstraction
The End of Temporality, 2003 - Fredric JAMESON
Abstraction and Culture, 1991 - Peter HALLEY
Living with Abstraction, 2008 - Sven LUTTICKEN
The Logic of the Trailer: Abstraction, Style and Sociality in Contemporary Art, 2008 - Ian Blom
Documentary Uncertainty, 2007 - Hito STEYERL
Art as Abstract Machine, 2005 - Stephen Zepke
Social Abstraction
There Is No Alternative: The Future is Self-Organised, 2005 - Anthony DAVIES, Stephan DILLEMUTH, Jakob JAKOBSEN
Opacity, 2006 - Nina MONTMANN
Smuggling: An Embodied Criticality, 2006 - Irit ROGOFF
The Crystal Frontier, 2008 - Mai-Thu PERRET
Abstract, 2011 - Liam GILLICK
Instituent Practices, 2009 - Gerald RAUNIG
Ecstatic Resistance, 2009 - Emily ROYSDON
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