The Europe that was Lost – Thoughts on Central and Eastern European Modernism
5. In Prague. Karel Teige, Devětsil, Poetism, and the Czech Avant-Garde
172 of matter.”461 Naturally, Kassák embraced the skyscrapers of New York, the via- ducts, engines, bridges, and X-ray machines as things “which mean victory over God s´ creation” as Moholy-Nagy chose to illustrate the book with both reproduc- tions of works by mainly Russian and Hungarian Constructivists and photos of everything from bridges and railway stations up to skyscrapers and power lines. Indeed, the seemingly paradoxical synthesist feature was, however, underlined by the fact that Kassák and Moholy-Nagy simultaneously presented both Robert Delaunay, Paul Klee, and Marc Chagall, which, according to Passuth, reflected certain ideas of the Expressionist Der Blaue Reiter Almanach edited ten years earlier by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. This was the case even though they simultaneously glorified the triumph of Constructivism and emphasized the modernity of industrial culture and the artist as its engineer and architect. It was no coincidence either that it was the deeply religious Kazimir Malevich, inspired by esoteric and mystical doctrines, who would give the decisive impulse in regard to Moholy-Nagy s´ development as a painter. Even though the specific philosophi- cal process of thought was unknown to him, according to Passuth,462 Moholy- Nagy understood and assimilated the visual forms of Suprematism, the simple emblematic configurations, for instance the cross and the circle. Moholy-Nagy s´ development seems actually impossible to grasp without Suprematism, indeed, without all those discourses and idioms which he interwove with each other in the complex “textual” web which would become the Constructivism with which...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.