CONFERENCE: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism (Prague, 27-28 Nov 2014)

Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in the Avant-Garde and Modernism:
The Impact of WWI

Prague, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the
Czech Republic, Husova 4, 110 00 Praha 1, November 27 – 28, 2014
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.


Thursday 27 November 2014

9.00–9.30 Reception, coffee

Introduction: Lidia Głuchowska / Vojtěch Lahoda

Section 1
Moderator: Steven Mansbach

Nina Gourianova, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
War as Medium: The Great War in the Russian Avant-Garde

Benedikt Hjartarson, University of Iceland, Rijekjavík, Iceland
Abstract Constructivism: Universal Language – National Idioms

10.45–11.00 Coffee break

Section 2
Moderator: Steven Mansbach

Erwin Kessler, Institute of Philosophy, Romanian Academy, Bucharest,
The Use, Abuse and Misuse of Cubism in the Romanian Avant-Garde

Bela Tsipuria, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia
Georgian Modernists Rethinking Nationalism: The Impact of WWI and the
Russian Revolutions

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
Moderator: Lidia Głuchowska

Harri Veivo, University of New Sorbonne, Paris, France / University of
Helsinki, Finland
Centred and Decentred Cosmopolitanisms in Finland in the 1920s and Early

Heie Treier, Tallinn University, Estonia
Cubism and the Start of Avant-Garde in Estonia

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

Annika Gunnarsson, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
‘Cosmonational’ – Neither National Nor Cosmopolitan – But a Tinge of
Avant-Garde Modernism

Torben Jelsbak, Roskilde University, Denmark
Nationalist and Internationalist Discourses Surrounding the Modernist
Breakthrough in Danish Art and Culture during WWI

Friday 28 November 2014

9.00–9.15 Coffee

Section 5
Moderator: Benedikt Hjartarson

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’

Lidia Głuchowska, Poland
The Great World and the ‘New Art’ in Poland: Between the Patriotic
Ethos, the Nationalisation of Modernism and International Attempts in

Michal Wenderski, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland
‘Uncanonical’ Impulses to the ‘Canon’: Polish and Belgian Contribution
to International Constructivism

10.45–11.00 Coffee break

Section 6
Moderator: Vojtěch Lahoda

Joana Cunha Leal, Art History Institute, New University of Lisbon,
‘A bridge too far?’: The War Effect in the Portuguese and Spanish

Emilio Quintana, Instituto Cervantes, Stockholm, Sweden
Languages of the Avant-Garde between Poland and Spain: Tadeusz Peiper
and Spanish Modernism after WWI

12.00–14.00 Lunch break

Section 7
Moderator: Éva Forgács

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

Lenka Bydžovská, Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the
Czech Republic, Prague
The Trojan Horse in the Trade Fair Palace: The Slav Epic versus the
Czech Avant-Garde

Vendula Hnídková, Institute of Art History, 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

Naomi Hume, Seattle University, USA
Cut-and-Paste in Exile and War: Otto Gutfreund’s Parisian Collages

Vojtěch Lahoda, Czech Republic
Transnational or National Cubism? Vincenc Kramář on Cubism

Closing Remarks: Steven Mansbach

Professor Vojtěch Lahoda, Institute of Art History, 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,
PhDr. Lenka Bydžovská, CSc., Institute of Art History, 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, 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, Academy of Sciences
of the Czech Republic, Prague

Vojtěch Lahoda:
Lidia Głuchowska:

Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Husova 4, 110 00 Prague 1
Contact: Blanka Švédová:, +420 221 183 501

There is no conference registration fee.

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CONF: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism (Prague, 27-28 Nov 14). In:
H-ArtHist, Nov 21, 2014. <>.


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