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WORKSHOP : Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in Avant-Gard and Modernism: The Impact of WWI – PRAGUE

Workshop WWI Avant-Garde

Atelier de recherche international organisé par l’Institut d’Histoire de l’art de l’Académie tchèque des sciences.

Date et Lieu : 27-29 novembre 2014, Institut d’Histoire de l’art — Husova 4, 110 00 Praha 1.

Organizers: Professor Vojtěch Lahoda, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.
Dr. Lidia Głuchowska
, Institute of Visual Arts, University of Zielona Góra, Poland / Humanities Faculty, University of Bamberg, Germany.

Scientific Committee:
Charlotte Bydler, PhD.
, School of Culture and Education and the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
PhDr. Lenka Bydžovská, CSc.
, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.
Dr. Lidia Głuchowska
, Institute of Visual Art, University of Zielona Góra, Poland / Humanities Faculty, University of Bamberg, Germany.
Professor Vojtěch Lahoda
, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.
Professor Steven Mansbach
, University of Maryland, College Park, USA.
PhDr. Tomáš Winter, PhD.
, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.

Vojtěch Lahoda:
Lidia Głuchowska:
Blanka Švédová:

This workshop follows up on discussions that were initiated at an international symposium in Stockholm: The European Artistic Avant–Garde c. 1910-1930: Formations, Networks and Transnational Strategies (11–13 September 2013). It focuses on one particular aspect of the avant-garde and modernism, namely, the clash therein of the national, the transnational and the cosmopolitan. In the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, but to some extent in Scandinavia too, the struggle for national independence, which in most cases began in the 19th century and culminated during and after World War I, had important cultural and artistic consequences. The symposium will track the changes in and compare the nationalist rhetorics in modern and avant-garde art just before the outbreak of WWI, as well as during and after the war. After 1917 the map of Europe changed dramatically. A number of new, independent states were established, and these developments found expression in every genre of the visual arts and transformed the image of the continent. The papers presented in this workshop focus primarily, but not exclusively, on modernism and the avant-garde in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics and Scandinavia. There are also papers that describe the dissemination and translation of avant-garde language in regions and countries at the fringes of Europe. Some questions we would like to discuss are: How was the understanding of nationalism and the post-WWI avant-garde affected by historiography, especially that of the 1950s and later? To what extent were nationalism and cosmopolitanism part of avant-garde and modern-art discourse before WWI and how did the understanding of them change during the war? What relationship did the avant-garde have to traditional and to official art in terms of their views on nationalism? What different kinds of nationalisms resulted from the national revival movements of Czechs, Croats, Slovenes and Poles in the late 19th century within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or of Poles and Lithuanians in Czarist Russia? And, on the other side, in what sense was the postwar avant-garde in the newly founded countries (Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Baltic States etc.) an expression of cosmopolitanism? The workshop will serve as a platform for rethinking the methodological tools we use to understand and explain the complexity and the multiplicity of avant-garde forms in these regions of Europe, a subject that is still under-researched.

Another important aim of the workshop is to establish a network of collaborators interested in researching the avant-garde in the regions of Europe more closely and in the long term.

The organizers plan to publish an edited volume of conference proceedings.

If you wish to register to attend this conference, please send an email with your name, title and institutional affiliation no later than 20 November to: There is no conference registration fee.


Thursday 27 November 2014

9.00–9.30 Reception, coffee
9.30–9.45 Introduction: Lidia Głuchowska / Vojtěch Lahoda

Section 1 Moderator: Steven Mansbach
9.45–10.15 Timothy O. Benson, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA: The Media War and the Avant-Garde
10.15–10.45 Benedikt Hjartarson, University of Iceland, Rijekjavík, Iceland: Abstract Constructivism: Universal Language – National Idioms
10.45–11.00 Coffee break

Section 2 Moderator: Steven Mansbach
11.00–11.30 Nina Gourianova, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA: War as Medium: The Great War in the Russian Avant-Garde
11.30–12.00 Bela Tsipuria, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia: Georgian Modernists Rethinking Nationalism: The Impact of WWI and the Russian Revolutions
12.00–12.30 Irina Genova, New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria: Modernism and the National Idea – Reflections of WWI: The Case of Bulgaria in the Context of South-Eastern Europe

12.30–14.00 Lunch break

Section 3 ModeratorLidia Głuchowska
14.00–14.30 Harri Veivo, University of New Sorbonne, Paris, France / University of Helsinki, Finland: Centred and Decentred Cosmopolitanisms in Finland in the 1920s and Early 1930s
14.30–15.00 Heie Treier, Tallinn University, Estonia: Cubism and the Start of Avant-Garde in Estonia
15.00–15.30 Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia: Art and the New Latvian State (1918–1920): Modernism as a Cosmopolitan Idea and a Substantive National Factor

15.30–15.45 Coffee break

Section 4 Moderator: Charlotte Bydler
15.45–16.15 Annika Gunnarsson, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden: ‘Cosmonational’ – Neither National Nor Cosmopolitan – But a Tinge of Avant-Garde Modernism
16.15–16.45 Dorthe Aegesen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark: Cubism in Danish Art
16.45–17.15 Torben Jelsbak, Roskilde University, Denmark: Nationalist and Internationalist Discourses Surrounding the Modernist Breakthrough in Danish Art and Culture during World War I

from 19.30 An informal meeting in one of Prague’s restaurants (only for official participants)

Friday 28 November 2014

9.00–9.15 Coffee

Section 5 Moderator: Vojtěch Lahoda
9.15–9.45 Erwin Kessler, Institute of Philosophy, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Bucharest, Romania: The Use, Abuse and Misuse of Cubism in the Romanian Avant-Garde
9.45–10.15 Éva Forgács, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, USA / IWM, Vienna: The Concept of ‘National Art’ and World War I in Hungary: Lajos Fülep and the Dynamics of ‘National’ and ‘International’
10.15–10.45 Lidia Głuchowska, Poland: The Great World and the ‘New Art’ in Poland: Between the Patriotic Ethos, the Nationalisation of Modernism and International Attempts in Aesthetics

10.45–11.00 Coffee break

Section 6 Moderator: Benedikt Hjartarson
11.00–11.30 Michal Wenderski, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland: ‘Uncanonical’ Impulses to the ‘Canonical’ Styles and Great Networks: The Case of Poland (and Hungary) and International Constructivism
11.30–12.00 Emilio Quintana, Instituto Cervantes, Stockholm, Sweden: Languages of the Avant-Garde between Poland and Spain: Tadeusz Peiper and Spanish Modernism after WWI
12.00–12.30 Joana Cunha Leal, Art History Institute, New University of Lisbon, Portugal: ‘A bridge too far?’: The War Effect in the Portuguese and Spanish Avant-Gardes

12.30–14.00 Lunch break

Section 7 Moderator: Éva Forgács
14.00–14.30 Ljiljana Kolešnik, Institute of Art History, Zagreb, Croatia: Migrating Signifiers – Socialist Croatian Post-WWII Art History and Its Relation to the Inter-War Avant-Garde
14.30–15.00 Lenka Bydžovská, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague: The Trojan Horse in the Trade Fair Palace: The Slav Epic versus the Czech Avant-Garde
15.00–15.30 Vendula Hnídková, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague: Respect and Triumph: The Intentions and Meanings of Czech Architecture before and after WWI

15.30–15.45 Coffee break

Section 8 Moderator: Tomáš Winter
15.45–16.15 Naomi Hume, Seattle University, USA: Cut-and-Paste in Exile and War: Otto Gutfreund’s Parisian Collages
16.15–16.45 Vojtěch Lahoda, Czech Republic: Transnational or National Cubism? Vincenc Kramář on Cubism
16.45–17.15 Closing Remarks: Steven Mansbach

19.00 Dinner at the Villa Lanna in Prague (only for official participants)

Saturday 29 November 2014

10.30–13.00 Guided tour: Czech Cubism in Architecture (only for official participants) guided by Prof. Rostislav Švácha, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

14.30–18.00 Guided tour of the National Gallery in Prague (only for official participants) guided by Tomáš Winter and Vojtěch Lahoda