An article by CRAACE Principal Investigator Matthew Rampley, ‘Myths of Modernism: Austrian Art after 1918,’ has just been published in the journal Art History.
The development of art in Austria after 1918 remains little explored; the main focus of research continues to be fin-de-siècle Vienna. Where interwar Austrian modernism is studied at all, interest is mostly limited to the municipal housing sponsored by the Social Democratic council. The main concern of this essay is to examine the reasons for this inconsistency and comparative neglect. It explores the ways in which the historiography of Austrian post-war modernism has been informed by wider historical assumptions, about the role of the First World War as a cultural-political caesura, for instance, or by ambivalence about interwar Austrian history and its slide into fascism, or valorization of the avant-garde. A comparison is also drawn with accounts of art in interwar Czechoslovakia, where modernist practices are much celebrated since they have assumed a legitimating function for Czech and Slovak culture in the present.
The article is open access. You can read it here.