Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein

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SEP 3, 2019 to JAN 5, 2020
varies according to day


Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
College Avenue Campus
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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Phone: 848-932-7237

This fall, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers hosts the nationally touring exhibition that explores Dimensionism, an artistic movement, tracing the influence of early 20th-century scientific discoveries on some of the era’s most celebrated artists. Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein, opening September 3 at the Zimmerli, highlights the untold story of the “Dimensionist Manifesto,” authored by Hungarian poet Charles Sirató in 1936 and calling for an artistic response to groundbreaking scientific discoveries that changed human understanding of the universe. Organized by Vanja Malloy, formerly Curator of American Art at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College and now Director and Chief Curator of Syracuse University Art Galleries, the exhibition features some 75 artworks by more than 36 artists, including the Manifesto’s signatories – such as Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, Joan Miró, László Moholy-Nagy – and their contemporaries.

The presentation of Dimensionism at the Zimmerli features several additions exclusive to the location. Donna Gustafson, the museum’s Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs, has selected works by Jean Arp, Peter Busa, Robert Delauney, Adeline Kent, Gerome Kamrowski, and Man Ray from the Zimmerli’s own collection to augment the traveling exhibition. The museum also will include its own copy of the epic visual poem Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jehanne of France (1913) by Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay. An auxiliary exhibition of Hungarian modernist works highlights the Manifesto’s author Charles Sirató, his roots in the Hungarian avant-garde, and his evolution from a poet to a theorist who embraced all the arts and envisioned a radical new coalition of creative thinkers. In addition, all labels will be printed in English and Spanish, and bilingual tours will be available.

Dimensionism brings together paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs, along with poetry and ephemera associated with the Dimensionist movement. It focuses on art produced during a period of dramatic scientific and social change – primarily from mid-1930s to early 1940s, with a few works created as early as 1915 and as late as 1966 – in both Europe and the United States. Inspired by new conceptions of time and space brought about by advances in mathematics, physics, astronomy, and microbiology, as well as the increasing public awareness of these developments via the mass media, an emerging avant-garde movement sought to expand the “dimensionality” of modern art. The exhibition also features compelling new scholarship that connects the story of these artists, their art, and the Manifesto that reflected their new direction.

Image: Helen Lundeberg Self Portrait, 1944 Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University Gift of The Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Feitelson Arts Foundation © The Feitelson / Lundeberg Art Foundation Photo: Peter Jacobs