Encounters with the 30s
Curator/Editor: Jordana Mendelshon
Introduction: Manuel Borja-Villel
Authors: Jeffrey Schnapp, Paul Wood, James Oles, and Janine Mileaf
Publisher/Date: La Fábrica/Museo Reina Sofía (c. 2013) Published on the occasion of the exhibition.
Format/Condition: New paperback book with French flaps in Fine condition. 432 pages. Dimensions: 6.6 x 9 x 1.6 inches. Profusely illustrated in color and black-and-white.
Description: This book is a fascinating and superbly illustrated look at one of the most turbulent decades in the history of art. The 1930s was a turbulent decade across the world with the rise of totalitarian governments, the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the start of World War II, and the constant migration of artists as part of evolving social, economic and political geographies that were marked by utopian dreams and devastating upheavals.
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. This book approaches the 1930s by detailing the movement of artists across borders, the potential transformation of artistic styles and the concurrent struggle to preserve old networks amidst the creation of new communities in often radically new contexts of artistic production.
Published to coincide with a major exhibition at the Reina Sofía 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, Brassaï, Cartier-Bresson, Calder, Delaunay, Ernst, Gabo, Hepworth, Miró, Picasso, Weston and many lesser known artists of the era.