Avant-Garde and Criticism


Avant-Garde and Criticism sheds new light on the complex aims, functions, practices and contexts of art-criticism in relation to the European avant-garde. Although many avant-garde works and the avant-gardes of various countries have been analyzed, considerably less attention has been given to the reviews in newspapers and journals on avant-garde literature, art, architecture and film. This volume of Avant-Garde Critical Studies will look at how art critics operated in a strategic way.
The strategies of avant-garde criticism are diverse. Art critics, especially when they are artists themselves, attempt to manipulate the cultural climate in their favour. They use their position to legitimize avant-garde concepts and to conquer a place in the cultural field. But they are also markedly influenced by the context in which they operate. The position of fellow-critics and the ideological bias of the papers in which they publish can be as important as the political climate in which their criticism flourishes. The analysis of avant-garde art criticism can also make clear how strategies sometimes fail and involuntarily display non-avant-garde characteristics. On the other hand traditionalist criticism on the avant-garde offers new insights into its status and reception in a given time and place.
This volume is of interest for scholars, teachers and students who are interested in the avant-garde of the interbellum-period and work in the field of literature, art, film and architecture.
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Table of contents

Klaus BEEKMAN and Jan de VRIES: Introduction. Criticism and Avant-Garde
Jean-Roch BOUILLER: Art Criticism and Avant-Garde: André Lhote’s Written Works
Ben REBEL: Architectural Criticism in de 8 en OPBOUW
Ansje van BEUSEKOM: Theo van Doesburg and Writings on Film in De Stijl
Peter G.F. EVERSMANN: The International Theatre Exhibition of 1922 and the Critics
Nico LAAN: The Making of a Reputation: the Case of Cobra
Hugo VERDAASDONK: Avant-Garde Reviewing of New Book Releases. A Case Study from The Netherlands
Willem G. WESTSTEIJN: Mayakovsky as Literary Critic
Gregor LANGFELD: German Art in The Netherlands before and after World War II
Arie HARTOG: Banality in Art Criticism. Comments on the Reception of Art in the German Daily Press of the 1920s
Hubert F. van den BERG: A Victorious Campaign for Dadaism? On the Press Coverage of the Dutch Dada Tour of 1923
Klaus BEEKMAN: The Inevitability of Argumentative Criticism. Theo van Doesburg and the Constructive Review
Ralf GRÜTTEMEIER: On Intentionality and Avant-Garde Criticism
Wiljan van den AKKER and Gillis DORLEIJN: Resistance to the Avant-Garde. Criticism of the Avant-Garde in Dutch Literary Periodicals
Sabine van WESEMAEL: Dutch Contemporaries on Proust and the Historic Avant-Garde
Hestia BAVELAAR: The Writing Artists of the Magazine Kroniek van Kunst en Kultuur (Chronicle of Art and Culture) in the Period 1935-1941

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