modernism

Robert Musil and the Man without Qualities

Robert Musil and the Man without Qualities

On November 6, 1880, Austrian philosophical writer Robert Musil was born. Musil‘s unfinished novel The Man Without Qualities (German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is generally considered to be one of the most important and influential modernist novels. “We do not have too much intellect and too little soul, but too little intellect in matters of the soul.”, Robert Musil, Helpless Europe (1922) Robert Mathias Musil was born in Klagenfurt, Carinthia, Austria,…
Marc Chagall and Modernism’s Golden Age

Marc Chagall and Modernism’s Golden Age

On July 6, 1887, Russian-French artist Marc Chagall was born. Being an early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints. Using the medium of stained glass, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, windows for the UN, and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. He…
Man Ray and the Art of Photograms

Man Ray and the Art of Photograms

Portrait of Man Ray and Salvador Dali, Paris by Carl Van Vechten On August 27, 1890, American modernist artist and photographer Emmanuel Radnitzky was born, better known as Man Ray. A significant contributor to the Dadaist and Surrealist movement, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait…
Marcel Breuer – Master of Modernism

Marcel Breuer – Master of Modernism

A Ski Resort in France designed by Marcel Breuer On May 21, 1905, Hungarian-born modernist, architect and furniture designer of Jewish descent Marcel Breuer was born. Being one of the masters of Modernism, Breuer extended the sculptural vocabulary he had developed in the carpentry shop at the Bauhaus into a personal architecture that made him one of the world’s most popular architects at the peak of 20th-Century design. Marcel breuer…
The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht

The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) On February 10, 1898, German poet, playwright, theatre director, and Marxist Bertolt Brecht was born. A theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht is best known for his contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production. There are few areas of modern theatrical culture that have not felt the impact or influence of Brecht’s ideas and practices. I’m from Germany. Thus, it is somehow self-evident that Bertolt Brecht was…
Virginia Woolf and the Birth of Modern Literature

Virginia Woolf and the Birth of Modern Literature

On January 25, 1882, English writer Virginia Woolf was born. She is considered one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928). Have you ever read Virginia Woolf? If so, for sure you will remember, because her writing differs from many others. Virginia Woolf is an author of modernism and she uses modernistic…
Marcel Duchamp and his Readymades

Marcel Duchamp and his Readymades

Marcel Duchamp playing chess in 1952. Kay Bell Reynal photo in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art. On July 28, 1887, French-American painter, sculptor and writer Marcel Duchamp was born. He is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as one of the artists responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Moreover, Duchamp is considered by many to be one of the most important artists of…
James Joyce and Literary Modernism

James Joyce and Literary Modernism

James Joyce (1882-1941) On February 2, 1882, Irish novelist and poet James Joyce was born, who is considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for his Ulysses, a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce on February 2, 1882 just…
Auguste Rodin – Progenitor of Modern Sculpture

Auguste Rodin – Progenitor of Modern Sculpture

Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) Photo by Félix Nadar On November 12, 1840, Auguste Rodin, French sculptor and draughtsman, was born. He is widely considered to be the progenitor of modern sculpture. Rodin was born in times of riots and revolutions that spread through Europe. France was hit by this wave of change in particular during the ‘February Revolution‘ in 1848 which resulted in the creation of the French Second…
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