Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925 is on view through April 15, 2013 at The Museum of Modern Art. Find out more at

Posts tagged polish abstraction

imageWaclaw Szpakowski, From the series A: A 9, c.1924

Waclaw Szpakowski, From the series B: B6, 1924

A true discovery in Inventing Abstraction are these linear drawings by Waclaw Szpakowski, an architectural engineer who worked for the Polish post and telegraph agency and created these works in his spare time. Beginning in the early 1920s Szpakowski made ink drawings on tracing paper. He traced lines by hand, always making them one millimeter thick and setting them four millimeters apart, to produce carefully calculated optical effects. He thought of these rhythmic compositions as expressing the underlying mathematical order of the universe. Occasionally, he even performed them on his violin, reading them as musical scores. Unlike most artists in our exhibition who exchanged ideas and works, Szpakowski worked in isolation and in complete indifference to the art of his time.