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Marginal to Mainstream - French Modernism Between the Wars

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  • 2023

  • Engelsk

Marginal to Mainstream traces the near-miraculous progress of modern art in France in the first half of the twentieth century. Before World War One, it was a marginal phenomenon, largely absent from the museums, and bought and sold by a handful of second-string dealers; by the early 1950s it had been canonized as the representative form of the epoch. The triumph of modernism, and the simultaneous establishment of Paris as the crucible of modern art, were not the products of a coherent policy but of a stumbling and spasmodic process. France was the leading democratic nation in Europe, and it wanted its art to reinforce its prestige on the international stage, but no-one could agree how best to achieve this. The author shows how, amidst the policy squabbles and in-fighting of representative government, France fumbled its way towards an art of democracy, and in the process helped canonize modern art as the house style of democratic capitalism.

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