press release

In the 19th century, artists responded to a new narrative of an unbounded universal spirit. They moved away from the Enlightenment’s rationalism, the realism of traditional artwork, and conventional religious iconography to produce private and intensely meditative images depicting the divine as the eternal infinite. At the beginning of the 20th century, artists developed expressive new art forms in response to the extraordinary new conceptions of reality produced by microscopic biology, astronomy, psychology and physics.

From its inception, abstract art was misunderstood or rejected as too difficult to comprehend. Often critics and the public were unaware that the artist was using intuitive forms and visual cues devoid of objective references to express the divine presence within reality. Not every abstract artist was spiritually inspired, but Vassily Kandinsky, Lionel Feininger, Abraham Rattner, and Mark Tobey among others in this exhibition sought to express the inner necessity or divine in their artwork.

Twenty-one works of art from the permanent collection of the Sheldon Museum of Art comprise Divine Abstractions. Paintings, prints, photographs and sculpture by artists such as Josef Albers, Hans Arp, Corita Kent, Gustave Baumann, Helen Lundeberg, and Salvador Dali are included.

Sheldon Statewide 2009-2010 explores the evolving portrayals of the divine and the impetus to fuse the sacred, art, and the new realities of science.

Through the next year the exhibition will travel to nine communities across Nebraska. Educational opportunities include material for adults and children available on the Sheldon web site and docent training.

Divine Abstractions: Spiritual Expressions in Art

Künstler: Josef Albers, Hans Arp, Sister Corita, Gustave Baumann, Helen Lundeberg, Salvador Dalí, Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger, Abraham Rattner, Mark Tobey ...