The publication sketches the complex and turbulent cultural context of the newly formed Czechoslovak state – an entity which served as a fulcrum around which the newly constituted nation engaged in a process of self-formation. This newly defined society also formed part of a broader range of changes that were underway in European thought as a whole – changes which naturally left a distinctive imprint on art. This was a time of vehement polarization – on the one hand there was the ‘old world’, represented by naturalism, classicism and romanticism, while on the other hand streams such as cubism, futurism and expressionism were being revived (having initially emerged in the pre-war years) to serve as harbingers of a ‘new world’. Novel developments included civilism (pioneered by S. K. Neumann), poetism, dada and abstract forms of art. This publication does not over-simplify this polarization as a mere struggle between old and new; instead it reveals the fault-lines and conflicts that were inherent even within the newly emerging artistic trends, bringing to the surface the structural complexity of the inter-war era. Associations of artists played an important role in the new republic, and one chapter in the book is devoted to this key feature of the art scene. There is also coverage of regional art (focusing particularly on the Ostrava region) and a chapter on the new sculptural iconography which emerged in the 1920s.
This publication is the fifth and final part of a multi-year project exploring the development of Czech modern art from the 1890s to the end of the 1930s.
Concept: Karel Srp
Texts: Karel Srp, Zuzana Novotná, Dagmar Mazancová, Ivo Habán, Renata Skřebská, Gabriela Pelikánová
Index and text editing: Eva Hrubá
Images: Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery; archive of the Aleš South Bohemian Gallery, Hluboká nad Vltavou; Archiv der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Irena Armutidisová; Collet Prague / Munich; European Arts (photography Albert Trnka); Benedikt Rejt Gallery in Louny; Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart; Galerie Dílo, Brno (photography Roman Kalina); Prague City Gallery; Galerie KODL (photography Milan Havel); Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové; Gallery of Modern Art in Roudnice nad Labem (photography Jan Brodský); Gallery of Fine Arts in Cheb; Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava; Golden Goose Gallery, Prague; Hauch Gallery (photography Jan Třeštík); Hussite Museum in Tábor (photography Zdeněk Prchlík Jr.); Karlštejsnká, a.s.; Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum Berlin; Regional Art Gallery in Zlín; Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie Regensburg; Kunsthalle Praha; Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf im Ehrenhof; Mary Duras Archiv; Vysoké Mýto Municipal Gallery; Miroslav Korecký, Obchod s uměním v Praze; Moravian Gallery in Brno; Museum Kampa – Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation; Orlické Hory Museum and Gallery in Rychnov nad Kněžnou; Museum of Play, Jičín; Brno City Museum (photography Miloš Strnad); Ústí nad Labem City Museum; Nový Jičín Museum; Olomouc Museum of Art (photography Lumír Čuřík, Ivo Přeček); National Gallery in Prague; National Technical Museum in Prague; Liberec Regional Gallery; Vysočina Regional Gallery in Jihlava; Museum of Czech Literature; Parliamentary Library, Prague; Ondřej Polák; R2G Art Foundation (photography Vendula Vašátková); Robert Runták’s collection; North Bohemian Gallery of Fine Arts in Litoměřice (photography Jan Brodský); Renata Skřebská, Sotheby’s Prague (photography Filip Marco); Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Nationalgalerie; State District Archives Mladá Boleslav; Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague; Olomouc Academic Library; Institute of Military History, Prague; East Bohemian Gallery in Pardubice; Gallery of East Slovakia, Košice (photography Milan Bobula); West Bohemian Gallery in Plzeň; West Bohemian Museum in Plzeň; Provincial Archives in Opava; Jewish Museum in Prague; 8mička; Humpolec
Typesetting and graphic design: Robert V. Novák
Collaboration on typesetting and proofreading: Zuzana Burgrová and Tomáš Brichcín
Reproductions: Radek Typovský
Print: Graspo Zlín
Published by Arbor vitae societas in Řevnice and the Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava, 2018 to accompany the exhibition V novém světě / Podmínky modernity 1917–1927, held 28. 9. 2016 to 8. 1. 2017 in the House of Art, Ostrava
485 pp., 717 reproductions, bound
The book was produced with the collaboration of the Department of Fine Arts and Architecture at Liberec Technical University