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Ad Reinhardt wanted to create work “about which no questions can be asked” — images that represent only themselves. But we're pretty sure we can spot a cigarette in this untitled work, and pacman eating a mountain. Reinhardt's early work feels like an extension of cubism and the abstraction of early modernism. Later, his work would become severely minimal, less like looking for shapes in the clouds, and more like staring into a star-less night sky.Early ModernismAbstract Art
Piet Mondrian is famous for his rigorously geometric abstract paintings, but earlier in his career, like many of his fellow painters in the early 20th century, Mondrian painted landscapes. In 1911, Cubism was exploding in Paris, and Mondrian was vacationing in the Netherlands seaside town of Domburg, where his paintings of sand dunes and churches blended cubist shapes with fauvist color.FauvismChurch
By exposing photosensitive paper soaked in iron salts to light, Hippolyte Bayard created some of the first direct positive prints — beautiful impressions of ferns and lace laid. Sadly, Sir John Herschel invented the Cyanotype the same year, stealing yet another photography milestone from the unlucky Bayard.Early PhotographySpecimens
Jade cong are among the most enimatic Neolithic artefacts. Cong are found ringed around bodies found in China's Liangzhu grave sites. No language remains from the Liangzhu culture, so we don't know what meaning the cong had — but if you look closely, each outer edge is inscribed with rows of stylized faces.NeolithicArtifacts