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FOTO – Modernity In Central Europe, 1918-1945

Dean Galleries, 7 June-31 August 2008
Between the wars, the world changed. European cities were rebuilt taller and denser than before, with new technology giving rise to an industrial and creative hub. More than half a century on, this major touring show originating from Washington’s National Gallery of Modern Art finds its only European dates in Edinburgh.

Featuring more than 150 photographic works led by masters such as Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, artists from Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and the then Czechoslovakia are caught responding to a crucial period of social upheaval.

“There was this attempt to try to construct a new vision for the modern world,’ points out Lisa Hostetler, Curator of Photographs at Milwaukee Art Museum.

This is evident in Paul Citroen’s 1923 photomontage, ‘Metropolis’, while in terms of bewilderment, the outstretched hands with eyes in Herbert Beyer’s ‘Lonely Metropolitan’ say it all.

“While some of the subjects were new,’ says Hoestetler, “such as skyscrapers and industrial architecture, really it was the way of looking at the world that was new. This comes out of a desire to get rid of old ways of seeing, to look afresh at the world and see if we can make something new out of it.”

The List, June 2008



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