Exhibitions : Current Exhibitions

Wassily Kandinsky, No. VIII, Die Kleine Welten, 1922

Divine Abstractions: Spiritual Expressions in Art

Date(s):  May 1, 2009 thru July 9, 2010

In the 19th century, artists responded to a new narrative of an unbounded universal spirit. They moved away from the Enlightenment’s rationalism, the realism of traditional artwork, and conventional religious iconography to produce private and intensely meditative images depicting the divine as the eternal infinite. At the beginning of the 20th century, artists developed expressive new art forms in response to the extraordinary new conceptions of reality produced by microscopic biology, astronomy, psychology and physics.

To listen to the curator discuss the exhbition, please click:
Susan Soriente Podcast

To view a slideshow of works in the exhibition, please click:
Divine Abstractions Slide Show

To view the catalog of the exhibition, please click:
Sheldon Statewide Catalog

To view the exhibition education guide, please click:
Sheldon Statewide Education Guide

To view printable activity handouts about the exhibition, please click:
Sheldon Statewide Activity Handouts

From its inception, abstract art was misunderstood or rejected as too difficult to comprehend. Often critics and the public were unaware that the artist was using intuitive forms and visual cues devoid of objective references to express the divine presence within reality. Not every abstract artist was spiritually inspired, but Vassily Kandinsky, Lionel Feininger, Abraham Rattner, and Mark Tobey among others in this exhibition sought to express the inner necessity or divine in their artwork.

Twenty-one works of art from the permanent collection of the Sheldon Museum of Art comprise Divine Abstractions. Paintings, prints, photographs and sculpture by artists such as Josef Albers, Hans Arp, Corita Kent, Gustave Baumann, Helen Lundeberg, and Salvador Dali are included.

Sheldon Statewide 2009-2010 explores the evolving portrayals of the divine and the impetus to fuse the sacred, art, and the new realities of science.

Through the next year the exhibition will travel to nine communities across Nebraska. Educational opportunities include material for adults and children available on the Sheldon web site and docent training.

This exhibition is organized by Sheldon Statewide, an outreach program of the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Sheldon Art Association and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

It is made possible by the generous support of the Sheldon Art Association, the Nebraska Arts Council, Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Nebraska, James and Rhonda Seacrest and Lonnie Pierson Dunbier.

2009-2010 Sheldon Statewide Schedule

Divine Abstractions

August 25 to September 28, 2009
Chadron State College, Chadron, NE

September 30 to October 29, 2009
McKinley Education Center, North Platte, NE

October 31 to November 30, 2009
Museum of the High Plains, McCook, NE

January 5 to February 4, 2010
Cornerstone Bank, York, NE

February 6 to March 4, 2010
Gallery 92, Fremont, NE

March 6 to April 4, 2010
Concordia University Gallery, Seward, NE

April 6 to May 4, 2010
Morton-James Public Library, Nebraska City, NE

May 6 to June 7, 2010
Library & Arts Center, Stalder Gallery, Falls City, NE

June 9 to July 9, 2010
West Nebraska Arts Center, Scottsbluff, NE

Location: Sheldon