What was abstract art? (From the point of view of hegel)

In Stephen Houlgate (ed.), Hegel and the Arts. Northwestern University Press 1-24 (2007)
The emergence of abstract art, first in the early part of the century with Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian, and then in the much more celebrated case of America in the fifties (Rothko, Pollock, and others) remains puzzling. Such a great shift in aesthetic standards and taste is not only unprecedented in its radicality. The fact that nonfigurative art, without identifiable content in any traditional sense, was produced, appreciated, and, finally, eagerly bought and, even, finally, triumphantly hung in the lobbies of banks and insurance companies, provokes understandable questions about both social and cultural history, as well as about the history of art. The endlessly disputed category of modernism itself and its eventual fate seems at issue.
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DOI 10.1086/367996
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