- a characteristic that's run
through the whole of art history to varying degrees, but if one had to select a
single tendency that's most dramatically, consistently and universally shaped
art since the early 20th century, the most prevalent theme has been abstraction.
The emergence of abstraction as the dominant aesthetic in
painting and sculpture took place in concert with the development and
publication of Einstein's first theories, ca. 1905. Within two years
thereafter, Picasso completed Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, widely
considered to be the first modern painting, and by 1910 Kandinsky created the
first fully abstract painting, absent any depiction of a physical object.
The development of quantum mechanics found that the mere act
of observing something changes what is observed, and that an object can be in
two places at the same time - theorems still central to investigations in
particle physics. As the world we thought we knew dissolved before our eyes in
light of these revelations and the chaos of two world wars, there was only one
form with the capacity to express the unimaginable. That form was, and is,
Moreover, the torrid pace of globalization in the 19th and
20th centuries virtually demanded an international language. Beginning in the
late 19th century an attempt was made to create one. It was called Esperanto,
but the idea didn't fly. It was largely left to sports, science and the arts
to fill the need for transcultural social interaction. Abstract art has long
been at the forefront of the development of global culture and this trend has
shown no signs of abating, post-modernism notwithstanding.
- Leslie Sacks Fine Arts, LA,CA, October 2014