Years of Disarray 1908 - 1928. Avant-gardes in Central Europe / Pécs
Jannus Pannonius Museum, Pécs, Hungary
13. December 2019 - 31. March 2020


concept author: Karel Srp

The exhibition, composed of twelve thematic units, seeks to capture the period of dramatic change in the development of modern art and the avant-garde in Central Europe from 1908 to 1928, with the help of paintings, sculptures, graphics, typographies, magazines, film scripts, photographic experiments, and other artworks.

The Years of Disarray, initiated by the Museum of Art in Olomouc, contributed to the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018, and commemorates 1918, a landmark in the history of the continent, marking the end of World War I and the Austro-Hungarian War. It also marks the dissolution of the monarchy and the beginning of the formation of successor states. The exhibition presents the artistic development during the first decade of the history of the successor states and the tense atmosphere that characterized the artistic centers of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the period before World War I.

More than 150 exhibits are borrowed from 24 national and international collections, including the Janus Pannonius Museum, which houses more than 30 works of art. The list of authors ranges from Lajos Kassák through Károly Kernstok to Ödön Márffy, László Moholy-Nagy, Lajos Tihanyi, Béla Uitz and Sándor Bortnyik. Among the Bauhäusler of Pécs, the works of Alfred Forbát, Farkas Molnár and Andor Weininger were selected. The exhibition gives a taste of the outstanding figures of the Central and Eastern European avant-garde, including  Bohumil Kubišta, Josef Čapek, Otto Gutfreund, Marcel Janco, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Ljubomir Miciċ, Avgust Černigoj.

The twelve-themed exhibition will accompany the transformation of contemporary art, from tablet art, sculpture, graphic arts, typography, film screenplays, and photographic experiments to journals (e.g., Ma, Dokumentum, Munka, Zenit, Contimporanul, Blok) and periodicals.

The twelve thematic focus of the exhibition links artists from different areas of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and also the successor states of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian Kingdom (later Yugoslavia) to their groups, trends, irrespective of their nationality.

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