Modernist Abstraction, Anarchist Antimilitarism, and War

  • Patricia Leighten


Analyzing how and why anarchism and antimilitarism proved central to the development of abstraction in the early twentieth century reveals that modernism needs to be reconceived from a new historical and theoretical perspective. Major artists — Pablo Picasso and others — created abstract art at the turn of the century as an activist aesthetic practice, based on a radical subjectivity that was integral to their anarchism.