Some years ago in New York Miss Hilla Rebay somewhat fanatically insisted on the expression non-objectivism. This inevitably caused some confusion in the outlook of some of the young American painters, especially as some American critics apply the term abstract to works which are not so (see Thomas B. Hess, Abstract Painting).
Even in Paris there are painters who make a specious distinction between the words abstract and non-figurative.
We have no intention of being caught up in these quibbles. On the authority of the first abstract painters we have adopted the simplest and most generally accepted term.
Flaubert, Correspondance, 1852: "Perhaps beauty will become a sentiment for which mankind has no further use, and art will be something half-way between algebra and music."
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Publication information: Book title: Dictionary of Abstract Painting:With a History of Abstract Painting. Contributors: Michel Seuphor - Author. Publisher: Tudor Publishing. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1957. Page number: 85.