_100 years of abstract art

theory or practice?

International Conference, Jacobs University Bremen
May 8-11, 2013


A century has now passed since art patrons, collectors, and the general public were confronted for the first time with the “non-objective” compositions of artists such as Robert Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, František Kupka, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian. The continued evolution of abstract art throughout the twentieth century led to changes in our understanding of the production, meaning, and reception of art in aesthetics and art history. It influenced the discourse in fields such as philosophy, psychology, history, cultural and media studies, and even politics.

The conference will examine the role that abstract art has played in visual art and culture of the last one hundred years, with a particular focus on its contemporary contextualization in art history, philosophy, and cultural studies. Considering historical examples of artistic practice from the early pioneers of abstraction to late modernism, discussion will center on theoretical and critical narratives that seek to explore new perspectives on the legacy of abstraction in the visual arts. From metaphysical considerations and philosophical reflections to debates about interculturality and global perspectives on abstract art, we are interested in looking back at one hundred years of abstraction in the visual arts from a contemporary viewpoint that acknowledges and is informed by the many social, economic, cultural, and political aspects of artistic practice.

The conference is organized by Prof. Dr. Isabel Wünsche, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jacobs University Bremen.

The conference is structured into 8 sessions with more than 30 presentations and two keynote lectures by Christiane Paul and Eli Bornstein. See the detailed program here.


Click here to see who spoke at the conference.