MINUS SPACE’s chronology includes major events, exhibitions, and writings regarding the development of reductive art on the international level. 

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year europe south america north america australia / asia / africa
         
1930 Theo van Doesburg coins the term "concrete art"; Van Doesburg defines the term in the first and only issue of "Art Concret", which appeared in April with a manifesto, "The Basis of Concrete Art", signed by Van Doesburg, Otto G. Carlsund, Jean Hélion and the Armenian painter Leon Tutundjian; In the manifesto it states "The painting should be constructed entirely from purely plastic elements, that is to say planes and colours. A pictorial element has no other significance than itself and consequently the painting possesses no other significance than itself."; Natural forms, lyricism and sentiment are strictly forbidden; Taking a narrow sense of the word "abstract" as implying a starting-point in the visible world, it distinguishes Concrete art from abstract art as emanating directly from the mind rather than from an abstraction of forms in nature; For this reason the term is sometimes applied retrospectively to the more cerebral abstract works by such other artists as Mondrian, Kandinsky, Malevich and Kupka

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe becomes director of Bauhaus

Marthe Wéry is born in Brussels, Belgium

Angel Duarte is born in Aldeanueva del Camino, Spain

Eberhard Fiebig is born in Bad Harzburg, Germany

Karl Gerstner is born in Basel, Switzerland

Erich Hauser is born in Rietheim, Germany

Anthony Hill is born in London, England

Peter Sedgley is born in London, England

Charlotte Posenenske is born in Frankfurt, Germany

Alexandre Bogomazov dies in Kiev
Sérgio Camargo is born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Alexander Calder visits Piet Mondrian's studio

David Smith meets Stuart Davis and Jean Xceron in New York

Joan Miro mounts  an exhibition at Valentine and Pierre Matisse galleries in New York City

Robert Ryman is born in Nashville, Tennessee

Ron Gorchov is born

Lee Lozano is born
 
         
1931 The group "Abstraction-Création: Art non-figuratif" is founded in Paris, France, consisting of international painters and sculptors; The founding committee included Auguste Herbin (president), Georges Vantongerloo (vice-president), Hans Arp, Albert Gleizes, Jean Hélion, Georges Valmier, and Frantisek Kupka; Members include Ben Nicholson, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, and Max Bill

Stalinism in Russia rejects Le Corbusier's project for Moscow's Palace of the Soviets, choosing instead a neo-classical building of immense proportions

Theo van Doesburg dies on March 7 in Davos, Switzerland

Roman Opalka is born

Kilian Breier is born in Saarbrücken-Ensheim, Germany

Heinz Mack is born in Lollar, Germany

Bridget Riley is born in London, England

Klaus Jürgen Schoen is born in Königsberg, Poland

Herman de Vries is born in Alkmaar, The Netherlands

Bernd Becher is born on August 20 in Siegen, Germany
Cesar Paternosto is born in Argentina Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney founds the Whitney Museum of American Art in Novemeber at 8 W. 8th Street in New York City; Previously known as the Whitney Studio

Stuart Davis begins teaching at the Art Students League

The Art Students League in New York City mounts an moderist exhibition including Jan Matulka, Arshile Gorky, John Graham, and Stuart Davis

Robert Morris is born in Kansas City, Missouri
 
         
1932 Bauhaus moves to Berlin, Germany (1932-33)

Richard Mortensen is at the Bauhaus in Berlin

Naum Gabo leaves Berlin and moves to Paris, France (1932-35)

"De Stijl", the Dutch periodical founded in 1917 by Theo van Doesburg, stops being published

Max Bill meets Piet Mondrian in Paris, France

Gego enrolls in the Faculty of Architecture of the Stuttgart Technical School (now the University of Stuttgart)

Gerhard Richter is born

Walter Leblanc is born in Antwerpen, Belgium

Francisco Sobrino is born in Guadalajara, Spain

Klaus Staudt is born in Otterndorf, Germany
  Ralph (Robert) Humphrey is born in Youngstown, Ohio

Philip Johnson organizes the Museum of Modern Art's landmark architecture survey exhibition on the International Style

Hans Hofmann begins teaching at the Art Students League

Joan Miro mounts a second exhibition at Valentine and Pierre Matisse galleries in New York City

Alexander Calder mounts an exhibition at Julien Levy Gallery in New York City

James Lee Byars is born
 
         
1933 Bauhaus is closed down by the Nazi authorities

"Der Ring" is forced to disband under growing opposition from the Nazis

Wassily Kandinsky moves to France

Max Bill meets Georges Vantongerloo in Paris, France

The first abstract artist group in London, England, "Unit 1", is founded; The group was formed after discussions between Paul Nash, Wells Coates, Henry Moore, and Ben Nicholson; In 1932 Nash described the need for a "sympathetic alliance between architect, painter, sculptor and decorator" (The Listener, 16 March 1932), which would further the modernization of British artistic culture according to the precedents of the European Modern Movement; The name of the group was chosen by Nash to express both unity (Unit) and individuality (One); Other members are John Armstrong, John Bigge, Edward Burra, Barbara Hepworth, Colin Lucas, and Edward Wadsworth; Frances Hodgkins is a member for only a very short time and is later replaced by Tristram Hillier

Laszló Peri moves to London England

Piero Manzoni is born

Pierre Cordier is born in Bruxelles, Belgium

Norman Dilworth is born in Wigan, England

Lars Englund is born in Stockholm, Sweden

Thomas Lenk is born in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany

Gregorii Stenberg (of The Stenberg Brothers) dies in an accident

Richard Allen is born in Worcester, United Kingdom
  Black Mountain College is founded near Asheville, North Carolina; On recommendation of architect Philip Johnson at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Josef and Anni Albers move to the United States and begin teaching at Black Mountain College, North Carolina (thru 1949)

Burgoyne Diller mounts a solo exhibition at Contemporary Arts in New York City; Hans Hofmann writes the introduction for the catalogue

Burgoyne Diller organizes an exhibition of vanguard student work at the Art Students League; The exhibition is one of the first group shows of emerging, post-war American Cubists

The Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) is established on December 3; Part of the New Deal, the program aims to employ out-of-work Americans

Dan Flavin is born in New York, New York

Guido Molinari is born on October 12 in Montreal, Canada

Sam Gilliam is born in Tupelo, Mississippi

Joe Overstreet is born
On Kawara is born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan

Mark Di Suvero is born in Shanghai, China

Mario Yrisarry is born in Manila, Philippines

Sydney Ball is born on October 29 in Adelaide, Australia
         
1934 The term "Objective Abstraction" is coined in reference to the work of a group of British artists; It is used after the exhibition "Objective Abstractions", held at the Zwemmer Gallery, London, from March to April; Seven painters participated including Rodrigo Moynihan, Geoffrey Tibble, Graham Bell, Victor Pasmore, Ceri Richards, Thomas Carr and Ivon Hitchens; Edgar Hubert, and William Coldstream are also members of the group, and with Moynihan, Tibble and Bell are the only truly abstract painters at the time; All, however, as indicated by their answers to a "questionnaire" published in the catalogue, are united in their rejection of the geometric abstraction espoused by much of the European avant-garde in the 1930s and in their belief in an art, inspired initially by nature, that would develop according to an unpredictable internal logic of its own

Johannes Itten moves from Berlin to Switzerland

Charles Bézie is born in Varades, France

Francis Dusépulchre is born in Seneffe, Belgium

Jeremy Moon is born in Cheshire, England

Gerhard von Graevenitz is born in Schilde Brandenburg, Germany

Patrick Ireland is born in Ballaghaderrin, County Roscommon, Ireland
Joaquín Torres-García returns from Paris to Montevideo, Uruguay; Committed to developing a form of collective art in Latin America not yet achieved in Europe, he founds the "Asociación de Arte Constructivo"; His influential doctrine of "Constructive Universalism" becomes a cornerstone of Latin American modernism; Torres-García seeks to create a Latin American art that, while locally inspired, would incorporate elements found in great art regardless of place of origin; Through this movement, he hopes to create a truly universal form of expression; "Constructive Universalism" incorporates essential elements of pre-Columbian art, as well as artistic tendencies such as the minimal structure derived from Neo-Plasticism, the geometric principles of Cubism, and Surrealism’s relationship with the subconscious Frank Lloyd Wright designs Falling Water in Bear Run, PA

Burgoyne Diller is hired on January 8 by the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP); He is accepted as an easel painter based on his "Braque-like" abstractions, which are suitable for decorative panels; The PWAP is terminated on April 28 and its work is taken up by the Temorary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA)

Burgoyne Diller begins to emulate De Stijl's elemental geometric forms of pure primary colors and black, white and gray; He is inspired by examples of De Stijl work that he saw reproduced in contemporary art journals and by Mondrian's work included in Gallatin's Museum of Living Art in New York City; Diller founds the artists group "Group A"

In the spring, Katherine Dreier, founder of the Societe Anonyme, starts a discussion to possibly mount an exhibition or produce a publication of American abstract artists, including Gorky, Graham, Davis, Albers, Drewes, Kelpe, Holtzmann, and Diller

Dorothea Rockburne is born

John McCracken is born in Berkeley, California

Hans-Martin Ihme is born in Montreal, Canada
 
         
1935 Naum Gabo leaves Paris and moves to London, England

Laszló Moholy-Nagy moves to London

Max Bill meets Max Ernst and Alberto Giacometti in Zurich, Switzerland

Kazimir Malevich dies on May 15 in St. Petersburg, Russia

Andreas Brandt is born in Halle an der Salle, Germany

Utz Kampmann is born in Berlin, Germany

Rune Mields is born in Münster, Germany

Roy Colmer is born in the United Kingdom
Joaquín Torres-García publishes his "La Escuela del Sur (School of the South)" manifesto, which called for the formation of a great school of art in Uruguay; He proposes that the map of the Americas be inverted, proclaiming “our North is the South” Whitney Museum of American Art mounts the exhibition "Abstract Painting in America"

Josef Albers makes first of fourteen visits to Mexico and Latin America

Ad Rheinhardt studies with Carl Holty

In August, the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project is established in order to give work to the unemployed

Carl Andre is born in Quincy, Massachusetts

Walter de Maria is born in Albany, California

Merrill Wagner is born in Seattle, Washington

Al Loving is born in Detroit, Michigan

Michael Venezia is born
Max Gimblett is born in Auckland, New Zealand
         
1936 El Lissitzky's total work of Constructivist art, "Abstrakte Kabinett", in the Landesmuseum in Hanover, Germany, is destroyed by the Nazis

Max Bill refines the definition of Concrete Art stating "We call Concrete Art those works of art which originate on the basis of means and laws of their own, without external reliance on phenomena or any transformation of them, in other words, without undergoing a process of abstraction. Concrete painting and sculpture are the formulation of what is optically perceptible. Their means of formulation are colors, space, light, and movement."

The group "Abstraction-Création: Art non-figuratif" in Paris, France dissolves

Horst Bartnig is born in Militisch, Poland

Andreas Christen is born in Bubendorf bei Basel, Switzerland

Horst Linn is born in Friedrichsthal, Germany

René Mächler is born in Zurich, Switzerland

Christian Megert is born in Bern, Switzerland

Antonio Scaccabarozzi is born in Merate, Italy

Ryszard Winiarski is born in Lemberg, Poland

Henri Prosi is born in Metz
  Fritz Glarner moves to the United States

The Museum of Modern Art mounts the exhibition "Cubist and Abstract Art"

A. E. Gallatin's gallery of modern art at New York University is renamed "The Museum of Living Art"

In March, A. E. Gallatin organizes the exhibition "Concretionists" at the Reinhardt Gallery in New York City

Charles Biederman mounts first solo exhibition at Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, NY; Biederman moves to Paris, France

"American Abstract Artists" group is formed in January 1936; This association introduced the public to American abstraction through annual exhibitions, publications and lectures; It also acted as a forum for abstract artists to share ideas; The group insisted that art should be divorced from political or social issues; Its aesthetics were usually identified with synthetic Cubism, and the majority of its members worked in a geometric Cubist-derived idiom of hard-edged forms, applying flat, strong colours; While the group officially rejected Expressionism and Surrealism, its members actually painted in a number of abstract styles; Almost half of the founding members had studied with Hans Hoffmann and infused their geometric styles with surreal, biomorphic forms, while others experimented with Neo-Plasticism; Founding members include: Josef Albers, Rosalind Bengelsdorf, Ilya Bolotowsky, Harry Bowden, Byron Browne, George Cavallon, A. N. Christie, Burgoyne Diller, Werner Drewes, Herzl Emanuel, Susie Freylinghuysen, A. E. Gallatin, Fritz Glarner, Balcomb Greene, Gertrude Greene, Hananiah Harari, Carl Holty, Harry Holtzman, Ray Kaiser (later Ray Eames), Paul Kelpe, M. Kennedy, Ibram Lassaw, Agnes Lyall, Alice Trumball Mason, Mercedes Matter, George McNeil, George L. K. Morris, John Opper, Ralph R. Rosenborg, Louis Schanker, Charles G. Shaw, Esphyr Slobodkina, David Smith, Albert Swinden, Vaclav Vytlacil, Frederick J. Whiteman, and W. M. (Wilfred) Zogbaum

An informal alliance of 13 abstract artists, including Rosalind Bengelsdorf Brown, Harry Bowden, Byron Browne, Mercedes Carles, Giorgio Cavallon, Ivan Donovetsky, Balcomb Greene, Ray Kaiser, Marie Kennedy, Leo Lances, George McNeil, Albert Swinden, and Albert Wein, forms for the purpose of exhibiting at the Municipal Art Galleries, New York City

Eva Hesse is born in Hamburg, Germany

Frank Stella is born in Malden, Massachusetts

Larry Zox is born on May 31 in Des Moines, Iowa

Leo Valledor is born in San Francisco, CA

Ree Morton is born
 
         
1937 The group "Allianz" is formed in Zurich, Switzerland, to bring about the systematic application of new pictorial expedients; Members include Max Bill, Camille Graeser, Richard Paul Lohse, Verena Loewensberg, Robert S. Gessner, Fritz Glarner, Max Huber, Walter Bodmer, and Leo Leuppi; The group has no official aesthetic, but is not as heterogeneous or politically motivated as the roughly contemporary Gruppe 33, instead displaying a notable bias towards Constructivism and geometric abstraction

Ben Nicholson, Leslie Martin, and Naum Gabo begin publishing the constructivist magazine "Circle"

Bob Bonies is born in La Haye or Den Haag, The Netherlands

Gianni Colombo is born in Milano, Italy

Walter Giers is born in Mannweiler, Germany

Gottfried Jäger is born in Burg, Germany

Imre Kocsis is born in Karcag, Hungary

Dóra Maurer is born in Budapest, Hungary

Floris M. Neusüss is born in Lennep, Germany

Lev Nussberg is born in Moscow, Russia

Niele Toroni is born in Muralto-Locarne, Italy

Kunibert Fritz is born in Schwerin/Mecklenburg, Germany

Werner von Mutzenbecher is borrn in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Helio Oiticica is born on July 26 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil On January 8, at Albert Swinden's studio, 22 artists voted to organize the "American Abstract Artists" and to begin weekly meetings; Burgoyne Diller joins the group on March 12; First exhibition of "American Abstract Artists" group at Squibb Galleries, New York (April 3-17)

The Museum of Non-Objective Painting is founded on E. 54th Street in New York, New York (later renamed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1959)

Seven abstract artists publish an open letter to Hilla Rebay, the advisor to Solomon Guggenheim, in the October 1937 issue of "Art Front" defending art's connection to visible reality; Rebay believes art to be a vehicle that transports the artist and viewer from the world of concrete realitiies to the spiritual realm

Laszló Moholy-Nagy moves from London to Chicago and becomes the director of the New Bauhaus

Burgoyne Diller becomes sole administrator of the WPA's mural division, putting him charge of public schools, colleges, libraries, public and municipal buildings, and hospitals; Several mural commissions were awarded to abstract artists; Among the most prominent were Gorky's ten-part "Aviation: Evolution of Forms under Aerodynamic Limitations" series at the Newark Airport (installed July 1937, two of the panels are currently at The Newark Museum); Lucienne Bloch's "Evolution of Music" at George Washington High School, New York; Bolotowsky's mosaic at Theodore Roosevelt High School; Byron Browne's semi-abstract mosaic for the United States Passport Agency at Rockefeller Center; and Jean Xceron's design for the Jewish Chapel at Riker's Island Penitentiary; Most abstract murals were clustered at a few site, including the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn (four-panels by Ilya Bolotoksky, Balcomb Greene, Paul Kelpe, and Albert Swinden are at the Brooklyn Museum; Francis Criss' "Sixth Avenue El" is at the National Museum of American Art; Stuart Davis' "Swing Landscape" is at the Indiana University Art Museum); radio station WNYC in the Municipal Office Building in Lower Manhattan (Stuart Davis' panel is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art); the Chronic Disease Hospital (among the last murals commissioned by the WPA Art Program in 1942) and Central Nurse's Home on Roosevelt Island; and the Public Health Building and the WPA Community Building at the 1939 New York World's Fair (102 murals by 32 artists are commissioned, all destroyed at the end of the fair)

Anni Albers becomes a US citizen

Charles Biederman returns from Paris and resettles in New York, NY

Robert Mangold is born in North Tonawanda, New York

Harvey Quaytman is born in Far Rockaway, New York

Max Cole is born in Kansas

Richard Van Buren is born
Robert Owen is born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
         
1938 The Allianz group mounts first group exhibition "Neue Kunst in der Schweiz" in the Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland

Piet Mondrian moves to London, England

Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart moves to Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hartmut Böhm is born in Kassel, Germany

Manfred Mohr is born in Pforzheim, Germany

Adrian (Ad) Dekkers is born in Nieuwpoort bei Schoonhoven, The Netherlands

Daniel Buren is born on March 25 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Ewerdt Hilgemann is born in Witten, Germany

Attila Kovács is born in Budapest, Hungary

Ulrich Rückriem is born in Dusseldorf, Germany
Fanny Sanin is born in Bogotá, Colombia With the outbreak of World War II, A. E. Gallatin was forced to suspend his collecting trips to Europe; He shifts his attention to American art, especially to the American Abstract Artists group, who had elected him as a member in 1937

Burgoyne Diller begins making relief sculpture combining flat painted grounds and projecting elements in low relief

The abstract artists group "The Ten" is founded

Ozenfant moves to the United States

Robert Smithson is born in Rutherford, New Jersey

Brice Marden is born in Bronxville, New York

Nancy Holt is born in Worcester, Massachusetts

Jane Kaufman is born in New York, New York

Lawrence Stafford is born in Kansas City, Missouri
 
         
1939 Getulio Alviani is born in Udine, Italy

Franz Erhard Walther is born in Germany

Paul Uwe Dreyer is born in Osnabrück, Germany

Hans Jörg Glattfelder is born in Zürich, Switzerland

Maurizio Nannucci is born in Firenze, Italy

Diet Sayler is born in Timisoara, Romania

Klaus Steinmann is born in Darmstadt, Germany

Ian Burn is born in Geelong, Australia

Peter Struycken is born in La Haye
Gego obtains visa to move to Venezuela On June 1, the Museum of Non-Objective Painting opens in a former automobile showroom at 24 East 54th Street; Hilla von Rebay is the museum's curator; The inaugural exhibition is titled "Art of Tomorrow", a nod to the simultaneous New York World's Fair

Josef Albers becomes an American citizen

Richard Serra is born in San Francisco, California

Larry Bell is born in Chicago, Illinois

Judy Chicago (Judy Cohen Gerowitz) is born in Chicago, Illinois

Doug Wheeler is born

Louise Fishman is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Carolee Schneemann is born

Kenneth Showell is born in Huron, South Dakota

Jack Whitten is born

Max Neuhaus is born on August 9
"Exhibition 1", a group show at the David Jones Art Gallery in Sydney, Australia, brings together the experimental work of artists who practice abstraction based purely on color theories and geometric principles

 

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