PREVIEW: Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art, Tate Modern

Tate Modern has announced a new exhibition examining the  intertwined stories of photography and abstract art will be on display from the 2nd May. 
Otto Steinert, Luminogramm II, X57556

Otto Steinert, 1915-1978 Luminogram II 1952. Jack Kirkland Collection Nottingham © Estate Otto Steinert, Museum Folkwang, Essen

This newly announced exhibition will explore photography in relation to the development of abstraction, from the early experiments of the 1910s to the digital innovations of the 21st century.

Featuring over 300 works by over 100 artists, Shape of Light will examine the history of abstract photography side-by-side with iconic paintings and sculptures.

Curated by Simon Baker, Senior Curator, International Art (Photography) and Shoair Mavlian, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern, with Emmanuelle de l’Ecotais, Curator for Photographs, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the exhibition will place moments of radical innovation in photography within the wider context of abstract art.

The exhibition will also cover  the impact of MoMA’s landmark photography exhibition of 1960, The Sense of Abstraction. Installation photographs of this pioneering show will be displayed with some of the works originally featured in the exhibition, including important works by Edward Weston, Aaron Siskind and a series by Man Ray that has not been exhibited since the MoMA show, 58 years ago.

Artists who will be featured in the exhibition include works by George Braque,Pierre Dubreuil, Jackson Pollock, Otto Steinert and Joan Miró for example.

Shape of Light will reveal the connections between breakthroughs in photography and new techniques in painting will be examined, with rooms devoted to Op Art and Kinetic Art from the 1960s, featuring striking paintings by Bridget Riley, while other rooms will concentrate on  the minimal and conceptual practices of the 1970s and 80s.

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art will be on display from the 2nd May until the 14th October. For more information and to book tickets visit:



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