houston

“Czech Modernism: 1900–1945”

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

To most Western viewers, the history of Czech Modernism has been inaccessible and almost invisible. Czechoslovakia, hemmed in by a language barrier discouraging communication and translation, was further isolated and repressed after the Nazi occupation in 1938. But this exhibition documents a cosmopolitan milieu in which Czech artists not only traveled, trained, lived, and exhibited in Western capitals, but constantly initiated and sponsored exhibitions of vanguard international art in their own country with promptness and perspicacity. These exhibitions were well-attended, publicized, and debated. Notable foreign artists and intellectuals visited Prague frequently, and Czech artists, whether expatriates, returnees, or native residents, selectively assimilated and transmuted major developments elsewhere in Europe with a purposeful intensity inspired by a belief in art’s redemptive powers,

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