Thursday, February 25, 2010

on the cusp

"What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant-garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants."
Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New.

The people, ideas and art movements from the turn of the last century and the years loosley surrounding it have always fascinated me in a terribly unacademic and romantic way. There were so many things happening around the same time: modernity creeping in, the first world war brewing (with machine guns), bohemian artists collaborating in Paris, the last days of the Romonavs...

Further reading could include Hughes' The Shock of the New and
Bohemian Paris: Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, and the Birth of Modern Art.

Photo of a dancer from Diaghilev's Ballet Russes from here.

1 comment:

  1. Lou's grandpa is writing a book at the moment about that period, and how the idea of intellectualism was being formed, and how people were starting think about being avant guarde in a totally different way than anyone had before.