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20s Modernism across a range of media and disciplines.

20s Modernism across a range of media and disciplines.

The PDF linked below was an attempt to create a genealogy of modernist design which accounted for the interconnected nature of various “modernisms” expressed across medium and discipline. I find it intriguing that the machine aesthetic, formalism and abstraction inflected fields as (ostensibly) different as industrial design, fashion, typography, scenography and architecture. It is also interesting to consider how Arts and Crafts, in many ways an anti-modern movement, sowed the seeds of radical modernism in its insistence on truth to materials and in its linking of social and progressive ideals, which in turn located the applied arts as a set of uniquely transformative media. As well as links and continuity there is contradiction and rupture, not least between more progressive modernist design and the more conservative application of some forms of Art Deco. This presentation was originally produced to illustrate my lecture on “Modernism in Design” at the Working Men’s College in Camden.

Modernist Design

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