Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936

12:28 | Published on October 1, 2010 | 860 Views

Kenneth E. Silver, Guest Curator and Professor of Modern Art at New York University, discusses the move toward figuration, clean lines, and modeled form that emerged following the chaos of World War I. The trauma of the war, as explained by Atina Grossmann, Professor of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Cooper Union, New York, produced an obsession with the body, health, and fitness, leading many artists to represent the body whole and intact in a shift away from prewar experimentalism. For the next decade and a half, classicism, a “return to order,” and enduring values would dominate the discourse of contemporary art in all mediums on both sides of the political spectrum.

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