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Surrealities

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Published

Publication date2002
Host publicationCentral European avant-gardes: exchange and transformation 1910-1930
PublisherLos Angeles County Museum of Art/MIT Press
Number of pages90
ISBN (Print)0262025221
Original languageEnglish

Bibliographic note

Following his participation in an invited colloquium at University of California - Los Angeles held as part of the planning for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 2002 exhibition Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation 1910-1930, Sayer was commissioned to write this essay for the exhibition catalogue. LACMA is one of the leading art museums in the United States, and the exhibition subsequently travelled to Munich and Berlin. As the first substantial exhibition on interwar Central European modernisms anywhere in the English-speaking world, the LACMA show was an art-historical landmark. A companion Sourcebook, containing artists' manifestoes and other primary documents, was simultaneously published by MIT Press. Interest in this field has since grown massively: one example is the inclusion of numerous Czech exemplars in the much-acclaimed 2006 Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition Modernism. His earlier book The Coasts of Bohemia: a Czech History (Princeton UP) is prominently cited in the catalogue for the latter. The LACMA catalogue was reviewed by Robert Harbison in The Architectural Review (June 2002), who acknowledges that 'the arrival of Central European art in Western consciousness has fundamentally changed the way art history can be written.' Of Sayer's contribution he writes: 'Occasional essays shine out for their way of crystallizing a subject, like Derek Sayer on Czech modernism, so alert to strange conjunctions he makes some of the others look doctrinaire.' He has delivered variants of this essay as public lectures at the Universities of Toronto (2002) and Alberta (2003). RAE_import_type : Chapter in book RAE_uoa_type : LICA