The War

The opening to the world made possible by Modernism was both thwarted and rekindled by the First World War. The Great War was the first to gain the denomination “World War,” marking its cataclysmic significance. The bloodshed of conflicting nationalisms had a lasting effect on artists and writers. Many of them fought in the War, including Guillaume Apollinaire (who was wounded and later died from the Spanish flu), Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (who was killed in Verdun), Blaise Cendrars (who lost his right arm), Wyndham Lewis, Fernand Léger, Otto Dix, and Max Beckmann. National allegiances conflicted with the sense of interconnectedness that dominated before the War—the war poems of Apollinaire are characteristic in this respect. Some of the magazines published during the war, such as L’Elan and Le Mot, reveal the tension between a modernist aesthetic that is open to internationalism and patriotic loyalty to one’s own country. The War also fed a renewed rejection of nationalism, as in the case of the Dadaist movement and, later, the Surrealist movement.

Otto Dix, German, 1891–1969 Published by Karl Nierendorf, German, 1889–1947
Die Schlafenden von Fort Vaux (Gas-Tote) (The Sleepers of Fort Vaux (Gas Victims)), 1924
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George Grosz, German, 1893–1959
I am the Prophet, ca. 1923
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Albert Gleizes, French, 1881–1953 Published by Jean Cocteau and Paul Iribe, French, 1883–1935, French, 1889–1963
Le Mot, no. 20 (July 1, 1915), Paris: 1915
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Edited by: Wyndham Lewis, English, 1882–1957
Blast, no. 2: War Number (July 1915), London: 1915
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Edited by Hugo Ball, German, 1886–1927
Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich: 1916
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Published by Amédée Ozenfant
L'Elan, no. 5 (June 15, 1915), Paris: 1915
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Published by Amédée Ozenfant
L'Elan, no. 4 (June 1, 1915), Paris: 1915
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Published by Amédée Ozenfant
L'Elan, no. 2 (May 1, 1915), Paris: 1915
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Edited by Tristan Tzara, Romanian, 1896–1963
Dada: Recueil littéraire et artistique, no. 6: Bulletin Dada (February 1920), Paris: 1920
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Edited by Tristan Tzara, Romanian, 1896–1963
Dada: Recueil littéraire et artistique, no. 3 (December 1918), Zurich: 1918
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Edited by Tristan Tzara, Romanian, 1896–1963
Le Coeur à barbe: journal transparent, Paris: 1922
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Chaïm Soutine, Russian, active in France, 1893–1943
Hanging Turkey, ca. 1925
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Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973 Printed by Roger Lacourière, French, 1892–1966
La Minotauromachie (Minotauromachy), 1935
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