Abstraction-Création By Boate, Rachel
Abstraction-Création was a collective of abstract artists active in Paris until 1936. Beginning in 1931, the founding committee was composed of Theo Van Doesburg, Jean Arp, Albert Gleizes, Jean Hélion, Auguste Herbin, František Kupka, Léon Arthur Tutundjian, Georges Valmier, and Georges Vantongerloo. Featuring reproductions of abstract paintings, sculpture, photography, and artists’ statements, participating artists were represented through the publication of the annual journal Abstraction, Création, Art Non-Figuratif (1932–1936). Abstraction-Création aimed to promote an international network of abstract artists, while simultaneously forming an aesthetic counterpoint to the increasing prevalence of Surrealism and social realism in France. Following the failure of the narrowly conceived abstract groups Art Concret and Cercle et Carré in 1930, Abstraction-Création pinpointed non-figuration as the only criterion for membership. This pluralist conception of abstraction reflected an intentionally democratic cultural position in contrast to the totalitarian regimes emerging elsewhere in Europe throughout the 1930s. At its peak, well-known abstractionist contributing members included Piet Mondrian, Vasily Kandinsky, Lázló Moholy-Nagy, Kurt Schwitters, Jacques Villon, Willi Baumeister, and Alexander Calder. A year-long exhibition of Abstraction-Création artworks began in December 1933 on the ground floor of 44 Avenue de Wagram, Paris. The 1935 magazine issue claimed a membership of over 400 individuals hailing from seventeen countries outside of France.