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Cynthia Paces on Nationalising Czech Modernism

30 June 2020

Nationalising Czech Modernism

Review of :

Marta Filipová, Modernity, History, and Politics in Czech Art, Series: Routledge Research in Art and Politics, New York: Routledge, 2019, 224 pp, 31 b. & w. illus., bibliography, index, $155 hdbk, ISBN 978-1138585669.

Cynthia Paces (The College of New Jersey) 23/CP1 

Abstract: This monograph investigates Czech modernism from the late nineteenth century to 1938. Rather than viewing modernism as a rejection of nationalism, art historian Marta Filipová argues that many Czech artists and art critics sought ways to ‘nationalise modernism’. Because modernism’s development coincided with Czech nation-building and state formation, artists and critics used modernist forms to demonstrate their nation’s progressiveness. Filipová focuses on the intellectual history of the relationship between nationalism and modernism, by examining Czech art journals and other art writing. She takes a thematic approach and investigates various modernisms, considering regionalism, social class, gender, political differences, and ethnic diversity.

Keywords: Bohemian Lands, Czechoslovakia, nationalism, modernism, art history

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