The development of abstract painting between the wars

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The development of abstract painting between the wars was comparatively slow. Klee (in 1921) and Kandinsky (in 1922) gravitated to the Bauhaus, the school in Germany whose work at Weimar and later at Dessau deeply influenced architecture and design as well as basic teaching. Oskar Schlemmer, whose simplified manner paralleled the Italian metaphysical painters, and Lyonel Feininger, an American-born painter working in a style developed from Cubism, were already teaching there. Kandinsky was concerned with refining the geometric ingredient of his work. Klee developed the poetic and fantastic elements of his art with an inconsequent fertility. The systematic purity of the Bauhaus approach survived longest in the work of Josef Albers, who moved to the United States in 1933. In 1940 Mondrian moved to New York City, and his last dynamic pictures reflect the new environment. Mondrian's work was appreciated by only a small circle, although a similar strength of purpose with a delicate responsiveness to a broader range of forms appeared in the work of the British painter Ben Nicholson. In the 1930s some paintings were executed by artists who formed themselves into groups, such as Abstraction-Création in Paris, Unit One in London, and the Association of American Abstract Artists in New York City. The work of these groups attained wider recognition only after World War II. 9
History of Modern painting After 1945 The postwar work of Braque developed a few basic themes. The space and content of "The Studio" series of five paintings were formulated in vertical phases of varying sombreness; a mysterious bird that featured in this series was a symbol expressive of aspiration. Nicolas de Stael, a friend of Braque who was born in St. Petersburg, reached in 1950 a style in which lozenges of solid paint were built into structures of echo and correspondence. Colour in itself provided the substance, and de Stael's influence was considerable. The painterly and basically traditional vein of abstraction pursued in Paris by such painters as Alfred Manessier remained at root decorative. In Italy, traditional trends in sculpture are reflected in the brilliant accomplished modeling of Giacomo Manzù; Marino Marini, devoting himself almost entirely to the single theme of horse and rider, gave a bald realistic style an oddly apocalyptic force. The Expressionist tradition was revived in the new spirit by the "Cobra" group of painters from Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam who came together in Paris in 1948. In the work of Asger Jorn and Karel Appel, the image springs as if by chance from the free extempore play of brushstrokes. Surrealism proved remarkably durable. Among its adherents, the American Joseph Cornell had been evolving from the techniques of collage and assemblage a personal and evocative form of image; the Pole Hans Bellmer and the German Richard Lindner, working in Paris and New York, respectively, explored private and obsessive themes; they were recognized as among the most individual talents of their generation. In general, the most idiosyncratic and anarchic qualities of art were being developed as a new tradition,

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