Visualizing To-morrow: An Irish Modernist Periodical

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In this essay, the received understanding of Irish art and modernism is reassessed through an examination of selected Irish critical writings which appeared in little magazines and periodicals in the 1920s. These writings suggest that a broader assessment of the cultural agency of continental modern art in a newly independent Ireland is appropriate. In particular, the periodical To-morrow, which is compared here to BLAST, was conceived and presented by its editors, Francis Stuart and Cecil ffrench Salkeld, as a platform for the modern agenda in literature and in art in Ireland. Recognized as one of the few Irish artists to actively pursue links with German modernism, Salkeld’s contributions to To-morrow suggest the existence of a more nuanced relationship between Irish intellectuals and continental modern art than has previously been explored. He was part of a small angry impatient group of writers and artists eager to challenge the pervading aesthetics of Irish Revivalism which, for them, had run its course. Like BLAST in its brief publication run, To-morrow advocated for a more cosmopolitan artistic agenda, but was quickly denounced by the conservative Irish Free State.

BLAST at 100

A Modernist Magazine Reconsidered


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