Synopses & Reviews
Preceded by the heroic modernism of the 1920s and abruptly curtailed by World War II, the heterogeneous art movements of the 1930s have been comparatively neglected as concurrent cultural phenomena. The 30s were much more than a period of transition or crisis, witnessing as they did the massive expansion of Surrealism, and fervent debate between new movements in abstract and realist painting. Political turbulence was of course rife at this time, with the rise of totalitarian governments and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, provoking a fluid migration of artists across borders and unlikely exchanges of ideas. Published to coincide with a major exhibition at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Encounters with the 30s explores the micro-histories of the decade. Surrealism is covered in detail, along with abstract art (such as the Concrete Art, Circle, American Abstract Artist and Abstraction-Creation movements) and Mexican Realism, and key exhibitions of the period (such as the Nazis' -Degenerate Art- shows and the World Fairs); photography, political poster art and the Spanish Civil War comprise other sections. The monograph is amply illustrated with works by Arp, Brassai, Calder, Delaunay, Ernst, Gabo, Hepworth, Miro, Picasso, Weston and many lesser known artists of the era.