Return to order. How avant-garde artists of the 20th century switched to classicism Automatic translate
After the end of World War I, the world lay in ruins. And at that moment in art, a sharp change in style began to take place. It would seem that just recently Malevich presented the “Black Square” to the public, it seemed that all the old art was buried, that it was already gone, but… In the post-war years, artists who surprised the audience with new and new experiments, suddenly began to be inspired by the classical heritage. Thus appeared "realism after expressionism." Of course, art could not just forget everything and return to Delacroix and Ingres, but a return to realism, albeit in a new quality, occurred, and many famous artists turned to it. What made them, it would seem, “step on the throat of their own song,” if a couple of years ago they eagerly uprooted all the old elements from their work. Previously, they might even be offended if someone reproached them for being "not modern."
The ideology of "Return to Order"
In post-war Europe, cubism had already come to its decline, and its followers understood this. The desire for order, peaceful life, and as a result, for the systematization and clarity of art intensified. "Return to Order" was proclaimed by the purists Ozanfan and Corusier, and suddenly found a response from one of the most radical reformers of art - Pablo Picasso. Picasso put forward the idea that art does not develop linearly. It only becomes relevant or irrelevant. Many of his contemporaries realized in their work the principle that history develops in a spiral, and therefore, from time to time there is a return to the old
Realism Picasso and Derain
In general, it should be noted that Pablo Picasso was very good at drawing. He created the perfect academic canvas when he wanted to. After the war, Picasso turns to neoclassicism. Many of his drawings of this era are beautifully painted, without any hint at the avant-garde past of the master, but in some works this legacy reminds of itself. For example, in the film "Running". Despite the similarities with ancient Greek sculptures, the author’s manner of “deconstruction” of objects is still read in this picture. Of course, the artist was inspired by such a trip to Italy, which became famous for the art of a beautiful human body.
Once the Fauvists, among whom was Henri Derain, one critic called the "cage with wild beasts" (foves in French). But after the war, one of the "animals", Derain, was more like a peacefully grazing cute pet. Derain admitted that after the horrors experienced, he wanted humane art. And by him he meant a return to classicism.
Novecento and Realism in Italy
Italy at the beginning of the twentieth century did not have organized vanguard schools and associations. The only modernist art that Italy gave the world in its early decades was the work of the futurists and metaphysical painting. However, they did not create groups in the truest sense of the word. The Noventento Association was one of the few formally organized associations. At the same time, the individuality of each artist as a unique personality was cultivated in Novecento, and the association was very diverse in style. Many members of the Novecento turned to the classical heritage, but everything is different. The paintings by Piero Gino Severini are absolutely realistic, but Carlo Carro in this period refers to a primitive style of the early Renaissance, such as the style of Giotto. But he also fits into the framework of this direction. With the rise to power of Mussolini in Italy, Novecento partially becomes an official art, but is often subjected to repression and criticism.
New materiality in Germany
Germany after the war was ravaged to the limit. In the post-war devastation, the need for simple art without frills was especially acute. In the young Weimar Republic, the New Materiality movement was founded. Their works are so close to ordinary realism that their paintings do not even have open strokes. All objects are smooth, the corners are straight. True, there were also peculiarities of the transfer of space, with the help of which artists tried to convey the emptiness and meaninglessness of the surrounding reality. Cynicism and pessimism reigned in society; many artists of the movement turned to acutely social themes and caricatures.
Realism in the USA. Creativity Edward Hopper
In the USA, during this period, one unusual artist was creating, who managed to bring deep meaning to realism. Edward Hopper is one of the most famous painters of his country. In his works, he showed the tormenting loneliness of man. Some of Hopper’s paintings are permeated with air, light and the sun and you can admire them for hours, but this does not cancel their tragedy. On most canvases, a person is alone in empty space and deeply immersed in himself.
Realism, in the midst of modernism, successfully existed, and many went over to its side. But still, it was precisely this trend that had the strongest influence on the emerging totalitarian regimes around the world. However, work performed in conditions of unfreedom rarely reached this level. The return to order was only temporary, because the mess and chaos of the terrible twentieth century was just beginning…
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- Pavel Filonov and the Russian avant-garde / School of Pavel Filonov in the context of Leningrad culture of the 1920-30s.
- Boris Smotrov. Way to the forefront
- Exhibition "Avant-Garde Directions of Russian and Soviet Art at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century"
- Konzert "Reise der russischen Avantgarde"