Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein

November 7, 2018–March 3, 2019 @ BAMPFA | March 28–July 28, 2019 @ Mead Art Museum

About the Exhibition

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. A first-of-its-kind touring exhibition, Dimensionism is organized by the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. It opens at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive from November 7, 2018–March 3, 2019, then travels to the Mead from March 28, 2019–July 28, 2019. The exhibition features approximately 70 artworks and is accompanied by an illustrated exhibition catalogue published by MIT Press.

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 Dorothea Tanning. 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. 

Cover text

Read the Manifesto

Charles Sirató, Dimensionist Manifesto, 1936 (facsimilie 2010), Courtesy of Artpool Art Research Center, Budapest, Hungary. English translation courtesy of Oliver Botar.

Exhibition Catalogue

Dimensionism catalogue cover

Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein

The first book to document how artists of the early twentieth century responded to new scientific conceptions of reality. Edited by Vanja V. Malloy, featuring Oliver A. I. Botar (University of Manitoba), Linda Dalrymple Henderson (University of Texas at Austin) and Gavin Parkinson (Courtauld Institute of Art). Published and distributed by the MIT Press.

Learn more

Special Thanks to our Funders

This exhibition is made possible with generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Logos for the Henry Luce and Terra Foundations

Contact Information

Contact Information

Vanja V. Malloy

Curator of American Art
Mead Art Museum

Media Contact: Danielle Amodeo

Public Programs and Marketing Coordinator
Mead Art Museum