Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein is a groundbreaking exhibition that explores how modern art was influenced by advances in science, from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to newly powerful microscopic and telescopic lenses.
The exhibition is inspired by the 1936 “Dimensionist Manifesto,” which declared that artists should respond to the scientific advances happening around them. Under the leadership of Hungarian poet Charles Sirató, an international group of artists endorsed the Manifesto, which exhorted artists to use their art to explore the new physical realities and philosophical queries of their day. The Manifesto’s collection of signatures represents some of today’s best-known modern artists, including Hans Arp, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy, Francis Picabia, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp.
The exhibition also includes others who engaged with these ideas in their art, such as Joseph Cornell, Naum Gabo, Helen Lundeberg, Herbert Matter, Isamu Noguchi, Wolfgang Paalen, and Kay Sage. Their works reflect the drive of many modern artists throughout Europe and America to discover a new vision for human existence and expression in an era that redefined fundamental realities such as time and space. By tracing a transnational flow of information and ideas, Dimensionism contextualizes modern art within the scientific revolution, and in doing so introduces new narratives on influential mid-century artists and the modern art scene more generally.
An illustrated 331-page exhibition catalog, edited by Malloy, provides the first in-depth scholarship on the Dimensionist Manifesto and the relationship between modern art and science more generally. The catalog includes new essays by Malloy; Oliver A. I. Botar from the University of Manitoba; Linda Dalrymple Henderson from the University of Texas at Austin; and Gavin Parkinson from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Published and distributed by the MIT Press, the catalog will be available to purchase at the Mead Art Museum and BAMPFA.
This exhibition is curated by Vanja V. Malloy and made possible through support from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.