modernity and religion

Modernity and Religion in Central European Art and Architecture: Online workshop

A marked aspect of modernist art and architecture was the search for the spiritual. This has long been recognised, but the involvement of organised religion remains much less examined. Focusing on interwar central Europe, the online lecture series Modernity and Religion in Central European Art and Architecture examines critically the stakes involved in the engagement with religious faith by artists and architects, as well as the role of religiously-motivated state and church patronage in shaping cultural politics.

The events will take place on Zoom, every fortnight starting on 4 Feb 2021 and concluding with a roundtable on 13 May 2021. The lectures will begin at 18.00 CET.

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Milada Marešová, A Bride with a Cigarette

Artwork of the Month, December 2020: Bride with a Cigarette by Milada Marešová (1933)

Sitting in a full, white dress in front of a brick wall and a grove of cypress trees, a bride is looking straight out of the painting at the viewer. At first glance, she is not a typical bride. Although she wears more traditional long gloves, and clutches a fan in one hand, her veil is falling slightly from her head and reveals prominent red hair which contrasts with her greenish skin. We can only imagine that under the veil she has a bubikopf, a haircut typical for the ‘new woman’ look. Her face and expression dominate the painting. Her remarkable, raised eyebrows and bright red lips add to the defiant look she is casting. Yet most striking of all is the cigarette the bride is holding in her right hand.

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Kubišta – Filla

Kubišta – Filla: Book review

Bohumil Kubišta (1884–1918) and Emil Filla (1882–1953) were two prominent Czech painters of the early 20th century, whose work is the subject of the latest publication by Marie Rakušanová. The Czech-language volume Kubišta – Filla: Plzeňská disputace focuses on the relationship between the two main protagonists and their connections with other people that were friends or colleagues of the artists. This seemingly narrow focus, however, provides an opportunity for the author to examine in detail how radically the Czech art world changed during a relatively short period of time. The relationships that formed fast and dissolved even faster, the quickly established artistic groups with a diversity of aims and membership that never lasted long, prove how rapid the transformation was in the art and society of the time.

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Announcing a new journal: Art East/Central

We have exciting news!

Art East/Central is our new English-language, open access and peer-reviewed journal that will publish original articles on architecture, design and the visual arts in central and east-central Europe from 1800 to the present day. The journal will also include book and exhibition reviews, reports and occasional discussion forums.  The international editorial board and a rigorous, double-blind peer review process will ensure high quality and originality of the published texts.

We welcome your submissions to be considered for future issues at journal@arteastcentral.eu.  We are particularly interested in contributions that adopt a transnational approach, examining practices, ideas and traditions that cross the political, linguistic, ethnic, and cultural boundaries of the region. Interdisciplinary approaches, as well as reflection on the particular challenges this region raises for relevant academic practices, are also encouraged. Submissions from graduate students are welcome.

Watch this space for the first issue to be published in early 2021.

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Žilina synagogue designed by Peter Behrens

Artwork of the Month, November 2020: The Neolog Synagogue in Žilina by Peter Behrens (1928–31)

In May 2017 a new art exhibition and concert venue opened in the Slovak town of Žilina. The result of a six-year restoration project that had been partly crowd-funded and also partly funded by the EU, the Slovak government and the town council, the building won a number of awards on the basis not only of the quality of the restoration but also for its mobilisation of grass-roots support and funding. Just around the corner from the Puppet Theatre and the substantial municipal theatre, the new centre provided a valuable addition to the cultural life of the provincial town, located some 200 kilometres northeast of Bratislava. The organisation that manages the centre, Truc Sphérique, also organises cultural events in the Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, in the town’s still operational railway station, and provides an instructive example of the productive regeneration of sites as cultural venues.[1]

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