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Cubism in the Shadow of War The Avant-Garde and Politics in Paris 1905-1914 cover
  • ISBN: 9780300075298
  • ISBN10: 0300075294

Cubism in the Shadow of War The Avant-Garde and Politics in Paris 1905-1914

by David Cottington

  • List Price: $75.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1998
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This groundbreaking book provides a major reassessment of the history and significance of cubism. David Cottington examines file cubist movement and sets it with in the complex political, economic, and cultural forces of pre-World War I France. Cubism, as a part of file Parisian artistic avant-garde, played an integral role in the turbulent Belle Epoque. The author focuses on cubism's relation to the particular discourses -- of nationalism, aestheticism, gender, the social purpose of art -- that gave meaning to file experience of modernity in Paris in the decade before the war.

In Part I of the book, the author discusses the "cubist conjuncture". the years that followed the collapse of the Bloc des Gauches. The Bloc, more than a parliamentary alliance, represented an effort of collaboration between the liberal middle class and sectors of the working class led by Parisian intellectuals and artists (future cubists among them). In file wake of the Bloc's failure, workers withdrew into trade unionism and artists into aesthetic avant-gardism. Cottington analyzes this consolidation of file artistic avant-garde, its relation to the expanding dealer-centered art market, and the dominant and counter discourses of the day. In Part II, he considers specific aspects of cubist art and the cubist movement -- from the conservative modernism of file paintings of Le Fauconnier mad Gleizes to the aestheticism of Picasso's papiers-colle's to the collective architectural and interior design project of the "cubist house". These examples and others, Cottington concludes, reveal cubism as a contradictory and unstable constellation of interests and practices, sometimes complicit with dominant social andpolitical forces, sometimes opposed to them, but in every case shaped by them.

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This groundbreaking book provides a major reassessment of the history and
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