The Pursuit of Abstraction

Exhibition Website

May 13 2017 - Jul 23 2017

The first half of the 20th century was a time of spiritual crisis. Scientific reasoning pervaded all areas of human understanding, supplanting religious and mythological beliefs with the promise of objective knowledge. As such beliefs eroded under the pressure of secular outlooks, many artists and designers experimented with new forms of expression that might reintroduce mystery into everyday life.

Drawing on a wide variety of sources — philosophy, mythology, religious doctrines and esoteric schools of thought — participants in this spiritual counterculture rejected materialism in favor of insight gained through abstract thought and feeling. Behind the veil of matter, their works assert, lie secrets that only metaphysical perspectives could disclose. Drawing on the holdings of The Wolfsonian–FIU, the Jeri L. Wolfson Collection and the Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection of Decorative and Propaganda Arts Promised Gift, The Pursuit of Abstraction presents works of fine and decorative art that seek to reintroduce mystery to the world by way of aesthetic experience.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Decorative Arts
  • 20th Century

Exhibition Venues & Dates