"What possessed a generation of young European artists, and a few Americans, to suddenly suppress recognizable imagery in pictures and sculptures?  Unthinkable at one moment, the strategy became practically compulsory in the next.  Many of the artists had answers - or, at least, they cooked them up.  The trailblazing Wassily Kandinsky and the bulletproof masters of abstraction, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, doubled, tortuously, as theorists.  They initiated what would become a common feature of determinedly innovator art culture to this day: the simpler the art, the more elaborate the rationale.  That's easily understood.  We need stories.  When they are banished within art, they re-form around and about it."  ~ Peter Schjeldahl from Shapes of Things - The Birth of the Abstract, New Yorker 1/7/2013