Modernism : Designing a New World : 1914-1939, Paperback Book

Modernism : Designing a New World : 1914-1939 Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


"Modernism: Designing a New World" is the first book to explore Modernism in the designed world from a truly international perspective, and across all the arts.

It offers a reassessment of the idea of Modernism and reveals the fundamental ways in which it has shaped our own world and its visual culture.

Modernism flourished during the years 1914 to 1939. As a movement it was the key point of reference for 20th century architecture, design and art.

Modernists had a Utopian desire to create a better world, frequently combined with social and political beliefs that design and art could transform society.

The range of objects illustrated - including painting, sculpture, film, photography, prints and collage as well as architecture, interiors, furniture, manufactured products, graphic and fashion design - reflect the period's emphasis on the unity of the arts and the key role of the fine arts in shaping contemporary visual culture.Europe and America take centre stage but the reach of Modernism is demonstrated by selected works from around the world, including Russia, Palestine and Japan.




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A catalog built around an exhibit (which I regretfully missed when it was in Washington), this work concentrates on visual Modernism as the blueprint for a "a machine for living," as the theorists of the movement tried to answered the social and physical collapse of World War I essentially with a new way of life, starting with a physical culture that took the machine seriously. The period of coverage (1914-1939) illustrates the political implications being illuminated, as the movement as an international, trans-socialist phenomena is overtaken by events; either by totalitarian governments who found the philosophy offensive, or the rise of the modern commercial designers of America with the economic weight of the superpower-to-be behind them. I might also note that this is more of a tome you consult rather than casually read.

Also by Christopher Wilk