Jed Perl on MOMA's new show

Although Perl gives rave reviews to Leah Dickerman's installation of Inventing Abstraction for the New Republic, he is not supportive of her curatorial decision to omit Miro and Klee from the historical narrative.

She is fascinated by work by Mondrian and Malevich, where at least for a time it seems that abstraction is a way of limiting and thereby intensifying the possibilities of painting. She banishes from the exhibition Paul Klee and Joan Miró, two seminal figures whose profoundly abstract visions did not exclude “recognizable subject matter.” What Dickerman cannot admit is that abstraction in fact released painters to approach experience in an extraordinarily wide variety of ways.

František Kupka. Localization of Graphic Motifs II. 1912–13. Oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 76 3/8" (200 x 194 cm), frame: 78 3/4 x 76 3/8" (200 x 194 cm). 

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