Sport and the European Avant-Garde (1900-1945)


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What has been the significance of sport for the European avant-garde in the first half of the 20th century? From an international and interdisciplinary perspective we show the extent to which avant-garde art and culture was shaped by the dynamic encounter with modern sports.
Our focus lies on avant-garde artists, groups, movements and institutions across Europe (including Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism, Purism, Expressionism, Dada, the Bauhaus, Constructivism in Central and Eastern Europe), thereby unfolding the diversity of avant-garde responses to modern sports. The book in front of you includes fascinating readings in the fields of aesthetics, visual cultures, cultural history and politics and highlights why specific kinds of sport such as cycling, boxing and football became important for avant-garde movements and artists.

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Andreas Kramer, Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has published widely on modern German literature, Expressionism, Dada, and the European avant-garde. Recent publications include the monograph Sport und literarischer Expressionismus (2019).

Przemysław Strożek, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and Associate Researcher at the Archiv der Avantgarden, Dresden. He received his Ph.D. at his home institution. He publishes on and researches Central and Eastern European avant-gardes.

List of Figures

Introduction: Sport and the European Avant-Garde, 1900–1945
Andreas Kramer and Przemysaw Stroek

1 Vitalist Cubisms: The Biocultures of Virility, Militarism and La Vie Sportive
Fae Brauer
2 The Aesthetics and Ideology of Sport in Italian Futurism
Günter Berghaus
3 Outside the Vortex?: Vorticism and the English Avant-Garde’s Indifference to Sport
John Hughson
4 ‘Vive le sport!’ German Expressionism and Dada
Andreas Kramer
5 Sports and the Bauhaus: Bringing School to Life
Joann Skrypzak-Davidsmeyer
6 A New Pitch: Art, Sport and the Impact of the Avant-Garde in the Soviet Union in the 1920s
Mike O’Mahony
7 Worker Sport, Mountaineering and the Avant-garde Left in Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland: On Sporting Content in ReD, Munka and Dwignia
Przemysaw Stroek
8 After Purism: The Young Man’s Home at the 1935 Brussels Exhibition
Bernard Vere

The book will appeal to scholars and students of European history, cultural history, sports history, literature, art and visual culture, as well as the informed general reader. Apart from academic libraries and specialist art libraries, the book might be also sold in Sport and Olympic Museums and similar institutions around the world.
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