Foto: Modernity in Central Europe 1918-1945

This article is from 2008

Foto: Modernity in Central Europe 1918-1945

Constructing new visions in central Europe between the wars

Between the wars, the world changed. European cities were rebuilt taller and denser than before, with new technology giving rise to an industrial and creative hub. More than half a century on, this major touring show originating from Washington’s National Gallery of Modern Art finds its only European dates in Edinburgh. Featuring more than 150 works led by photographers such as László Moholy-Nagy and Hannah Höch, artists from Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and the then Czechoslovakia are caught responding to a crucial period of social upheaval.

‘There was this attempt to try to construct a new vision for the modern world,’ points out Lisa Hostetler, Curator of Photographs at Milwaukee Art Museum. This is evident in Paul Citroen’s 1923 photomontage, ‘Metropolis’, while in terms of bewilderment, the outstretched hands with eyes in Herbert Beyer’s ‘Lonely Metropolitan’ say it all.

‘While some of the subjects were new, such as skyscrapers and industrial architecture, it was the way of looking at the world that was really new,’ says Hoestetler. ‘This comes out of a desire to get rid of old ways of seeing, to look afresh at the world and see if we can make something new out of it.’

Dean Gallery, Belford Road, 0131 624 6200, until 31 Aug, £6 (£4).

Edinburgh Art Festival

Scotland's largest annual celebration of visual art offers work by the best contemporary Scottish artists as well as exhibitions of the most important international artists and movements of the 20th century and other historical periods.

Foto: Modernity in Central Europe

A vast selection of Modernist photography from Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Austria, brilliantly demonstrating how the new photographic vision extended into all areas of modern life and including examples of the very best in Modernist artistic practise.

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