Out Looking In: Early Modern Polish Art, 1890-1918

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9780520211902: Out Looking In: Early Modern Polish Art, 1890-1918

Jan Cavanaugh's innovative study locates Polish artists at the core of one of the primary turn-of-the-century modernist movements, the Central European Secession. Ten of the original fifty members of the Vienna Secession were Poles; they and other Polish artists participated actively in secessionist exhibitions while also forming their own group, which exhibited throughout Europe. At the same time, many of these artists were deeply involved in the struggle for their country's independence.

The Secession created an international forum to raise the standards of art and welcomed artists excluded from the salons because of their commitment to modernism. While modernism had a strong pan-European flavor, each country contributed a distinctive strain derived from its individual culture. Cavanaugh argues that after 1890 Polish artists gained new inspiration from progressive international trends, embracing modernism while seeking to sustain their own artistic and cultural autonomy. Despite its marginal status, Polish modernism, she says, was one of the strongest national movements to evolve outside the major centers of European art.



Out Looking In is the first comprehensive study in English of this significant period in Polish art. In addressing issues of national identity and consciousness, Cavanaugh essentially revises our understanding of European modernism and expertly demonstrates art history's role in reflecting broad cultural changes.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Cavanaugh's scholarship is distinguished by several qualities: detailed knowledge, a rare comparative awareness of adjacent disciplines, and of course, a substantial, synthetic knowledge of modern artistic developments in Western Europe and the U.S. Out Looking In will be relevant to a large and varied public."—John E. Bowlt, author of Forbidden Art: Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1956-1988

"This is an essential book for scholars of modernism who are eager, in the wake of post-structuralist and post-modernist reevaluations of the construction of modernism's history, to broaden discussions beyond a narrow French orientation. It will serve as an important stimulus for rethinking European art in general in this period."—Linda Dalrymple Henderson, University of Texas, Austin

"Clearly written and well organized, [Out Looking In] will be the indispensable reference work in English on early modern Polish art. Cavanuagh's treatment, based on solid research and critical insight, is illuminating."—Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski, Professor of Art, Queen's University

"The visual richness and comprehensiveness of Out Looking In will make it a primary resource in the West for images of early modern Polish art as well as arguing for the centrality of Polish art to the discussion of European modernism. This is revisionism at its most insightful."—Wendy Salmond, author of Arts and Crafts in Late Imperial Russia

"This book goes a long way in correcting our geographically narrow understanding of European modernism. While arguing for Poland's place in the annals of artistic modernism, Cavanaugh elegantly manoeuvers between the sensitive issues determining national artistic identity and the international context of this debate."—Myroslava M. Mudrak, Ohio State University

"This is one of the most important critical analyses of turn-of-the-century Polish art. Out Looking In will inspire a broad response from a wide international cricle of historians of art, literature, and artistic culture."—Wieslaw Juszczak, Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Letters and Art History Department, University of Warsaw

About the Author:

Jan Cavanaugh is an independent scholar living in Huntington Beach, California.

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Jan Cavanaugh
Editorial: University of California Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0520211901 ISBN 13: 9780520211902
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Jan Cavanaugh
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