Friday, 2 October 2020

salon d'automne

In 1936 the MoMA published a textbook as a supplemental catalogue and historical (albeit a narrow and myopic one) survey of its retrospective exhibition on Cubism and Abstract Art with a flowchart conceived by the museum’s first director Alfred H. Barr, Jr. to show the connections and development of various movements. 

Overlooking the question of geopolitics and focusing on the assertion of the European dominance, the graphic receives an update from conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas for a new exhibit in Brussels that not only brings forward the timeline through the 1970s but also re-contextualises art history in terms of colonialism and social structures that informed and enabled their work with emphasis on Belgium’s own particularly cruel record. Click through to enlarge.  Though some of the connections might seem tenuous at first, one begins to penetrate the linkages, like epoch of Art Deco following more aggressive excavating for copper, to take one example.