Interactive: Exploring Abstract Artist Connections

Inventing Abstraction 2

Today it’s easy to take for granted the massive shift abstract art had on the art world and society as a whole. It’s easy to forget that at one time “realism” was par for the course and even the expressionists made sure you could identify the objects in their works. Then, just a little over 100 years ago, abstract artists appeared on the scene forever changing what could be considered art. This interactive visualization by New York’s Museum of Modern Art explores the similarly forgotten fact that many of the first abstract artists where highly connected to one another.

The MOMA interactive works as a large web of artists, highlighting the social connections between one another during the years 1910 – 1925. As quickly becomes apparent, this was one connected group of individuals who communicated and shared ideas regularly. As the interactive points out, the process of developing abstract art was one brought about by “network thinking” and can’t be attributed to one individual. You can learn more about each individual involved in the movement by clicking their name (some even include audio tracks from museum staff explaining their influence).

The interactive is part of a recently opened exhibition (of the same name) running at the MOMA until April 15th, 2013. The exhibition brings together many of the most influential works in abstraction’s early history and covers a wide range of artistic production.

Explore the interactive graphic at

Inventing Abstraction 1

Inventing Abstraction 3

Inventing Abstraction 4

Inventing Abstraction 5


Benjamin Starr

Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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