Embattled Avant-Gardes: Modernism’s Resistance to Commodity Culture in Europe
This sweeping work, at once a panoramic overview and an ambitious critical reinterpretation of European modernism, provides a bold new perspective on a movement that defined the cultural landscape of the early twentieth century. Walter L. Adamson embarks on a lucid, wide-ranging exploration of the avant-garde practices through which the modernist generations after 1900 resisted the rise of commodity culture as a threat to authentic cultural expression. Taking biographical approaches to numerous avant-garde leaders, Adamson charts the rise and fall of modernist aspirations in movements and individuals as diverse as Ruskin, Marinetti, Kandinsky, Bauhaus, Purism, and the art critic Herbert Read. In conclusion, Adamson rises to the defense of the modernists, suggesting that their ideas are relevant to current efforts to think through what it might mean to create a vibrant, aesthetically satisfying form of cultural democracy.
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aesthetic aimed alliance André Breton Apollinaire architecture Ardengo Soffici argued art’s artists audience avant-garde art avant-garde modernism avant-garde modernists Banham Baudelaire Bauhaus become Blaue Reiter bourgeois Breton Cambridge commodification commodity culture concept Corbusier creative critic cubism cultural democracy design modernism Doesburg early elites entertainment essay Exhibition F. T. Marinetti fascist France French futurism futurist Gesamtkunstwerk Gropius Gropius’s Herbert Read Ibid idea ideal industry intellectual internal necessity Italian journal Jugendstil Kandinsky Kandinsky’s La Révolution surréaliste Le Corbusier London Mallarmé Manifesto of Surrealism Marinetti Mass Milan modern art Moreover movement Novecento painters painting Paris poetry political postwar practices prewar production public sphere Read Read’s regime revolution Reyner Banham role Ruskin Salon Sarfatti Selected Writings Selvaggio sense social society Soffici spiritual Stijl strapaese strategy style Surrealism surrealist symbolist taste Theo van Doesburg tion tradition trans University Press Wagner Walter Gropius Wassily Kandinsky Werkbund wrote