Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931) is perhaps best known as a prime mover in De Stijl, the Dutch artistic movement that demanded an elemental, abstract vocabulary in both painting and architecture. Here, revealed for the first time, is the true extent of his involvement with Dada and Constructivist artists' groups spread across the whole of Europe, as far as Russia and beyond, and the breadth of his creative practice in fields as diverse as film, typography, graphic design and music. A man of multiple talents and identities, he was inspired by the catastrophe of the First World War to attempt nothing less than the reshaping of culture in its entirety and the construction of a new world.
Accompanying a major touring exhibition, this book examines van Doesburg's pivotal role in the development of modernism and his relationships with and influence upon a constellation of artists who spanned a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. They included Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, El Lissitzky, Piet Mondrian, László Moholy-Nagy, Gerrit Rietveld, Kurt Schwitters and Tristan Tzara among others, and their work is both illustrated and discussed alongside van Doesburg's. Focused on a dynamic and exciting moment in 20th-century art, this book throws new light both on the impact this unique artist had on a past generation and also his enduring influence today.
Contributors include Marc Dachy, Henk Engel and Krisztina Passuth. Gladys Fabre is an independent art historian and curator based in Brussels. Doris Wintgens Hötte is a curator at the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden. Michael White is senior lecturer in History of Art at the University of York.
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