CFP: Faith and Religion in Central European Art and Architecture, 1918-1939: the Dark Side of Modernism?

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Faith and Religion in Central European Art and Architecture, 1918-1939

The Dark Side of Modernism?

CRAACE workshop, 2425 September 2020

Belvedere, Vienna

One of the most marked aspects of 20th century modernism was the search for the spiritual. Figures such as Kandinsky, Mondrian, Kupka and Feininger all saw their practice as a quest for forms that might give visible form to mystical and spiritual absolutes.

This has long been a recognised part of the landscape of modern art and architecture. A much less examined feature has been the involvement of organised religions, particularly churches, in modernist practice after the First World War. Indeed, between 1918 and 1939 churches acted as one of the most powerful ideological and cultural-political forces in central Europe. Not only the Catholic Church, but also the various orthodox and evangelical churches, gave impetus to the demand for a revival of ‘spiritual’ values, or helped mobilise ‘spiritual’ values in furtherance of political and ideological ends.

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