Flatland, Color in Early Modern Art

Mar 11, 2020 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Free and Open to the Public

Linda Henderson shines light on the changing approaches to color in painting in the late 19th and early 20th century, when color came into its own as a means for artistic self-expression. Instead of simply describing the visible world, color became a tool for artists to develop new goals for painting. Beginning with Post-Impressionists like Gauguin and Van Gogh, the lecture concludes with Wassily Kandinsky, who left behind the visible world completely to make totally abstract paintings intended to “set up vibrations” in the soul of the viewer—visually and with the sound he associated with specific colors through his synaesthetic perceptions.


Linda Henderson, Ph.D. Yale University, David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Art and Art History, University of Texas in Austin, focuses on twentieth-century European and American art, with emphasis on the period 1900–1930; the interdisciplinary study of modernism: art in its cultural context, including the history of geometry, science and technology, philosophy, mysticism, and occultism. Most recently, her research investigates the cultural history of the “fourth dimension” through the 20th century. Books she has authored include The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art and Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works.

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