Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art
Jan 21, 2020 - Apr 11, 2020
This traveling exhibition offers a new and insightful look at modernism in interwar Europe. The exhibition focuses on the influential but short-lived artistic group known as Cercle et Carré (Circle and Square), founded by Michel Seuphor, Joaquín Torres-García, and Pierre Daura in 1929. Based in Paris, the international group of more than eighty artists included notable members such as Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Alexandra Exter, Jean Arp, Fernand Legér, Le Corbusier, and Marcelle Cahn. Cercle et Carré was formed in reaction to Surrealism, advancing ideas concerning construction and meaningful abstraction. Its members published their theories in the group’s journals and presented them in their only exhibition, held in 1930 in Paris. At the time, they were largely ignored or derided by critics, but the 1930 exhibition is now considered a landmark event in the history of modernism. Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art showcases more than fifty works by more than thirty of Cercle et Carré’s participants, examining the formation of the group, its sole exhibition, and its artistic legacy. The exhibition was curated by Lynn Boland, former Pierre Daura Curator of European Art at the Georgia Museum of Art and current director of the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art.
The exhibition was organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The presentation of this exhibition at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art at Colorado State University is made possible by a generous grant from the Daura Foundation.