Modern Art from the Interbellum

Modern Art from the Interbellum
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Article code08855
Modern Art from the Interbellum
127 pages
Color photos
Hard cover
23 x 24 cm
0,773 kg

In response to its closure for renovations, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) has embarked on a joint venture with the FeliXart Museum Drogenbos for the purpose of presenting to a broad audience an exhibition of exceptional and less frequently displayed art works from the period 1919-1952. This publication offers insights into the lively arts scene during the interwar period, ranging from post-impressionism, passing through abstraction and expressionism, to the mixed forms characteristic of that time, with works by Jules Schmalzigaug, Marthe Donas, Oscar and Floris Jespers, Edmond Van Dooren, Jozef Peeters, Felix De Boeck, Jan Kiemeneij, Jos Leonard, Paul Joostens, Prosper De Troyer, Marcel-Louis Baugniet and Ossip Zadkine. In addition to two introductory entries, a sequential analysis of individual works will map out a reconstruction of this 'forgotten' period in Flemish art history.

It was long held that the eclecticism of artistic expression in the interwar period made the subject problematic to handle. Alongside the neatly demarcated styles, such as Flemish expressionism and surrealism, experiments offering a mixture of expressive fauvism, futurism-oriented abstraction or Dadaist expressionism were branded 'incomprehensible'. By being guided through the entire period, emphasising the development of abstract art, it becomes possible to convey the story of the historic avant-garde in all its diversity. 1925 serves as the pivotal point in the pursuit of a purely visual language, after which the various developments that had resulted in abstract art began to surface in new mutated forms. The return of figurative art also experienced influences from the brief adventure of abstract art in Belgium. It is within that context, supported by new research, that this ensemble from the KMSKA collection is re-evaluating the significance of this period. In addition to that collection, important pieces from various collections in the archives are to be included for the first time.

This publication exhibits the guiding principle so characteristic of Belgium's rich artistic tradition: breaking with convention owing to a Belgian receptiveness to all manner of influences. This 'unorthodox' story, in which - oftentimes roguish - recycling and parody led repeatedly to new syntheses, is an integral part of Belgium's art history that deserves to be remembered.