Rasmussen M.B.- Totalitarian Art and Modernity


In spite of the steadily expanding concept of art in the Western world, art made in twentieth-century totalitarian regimes ” notably nazi Germany, fascist Italy and the communist East Bloc countries ” is still to a surprising degree excluded from main stream art history and the exhibits of art museums.

In contrast to earlier art made to promote princely or ecclesiastical power, this kind of visual culture seems to somehow not fulfil the category of ‘true’ art, instead being marginalized as propaganda for politically suspect regimes. This book wants to modify this displacement, comparing totalitarian art with modernist and avant-garde movements; confronting their cultural and political embeddings; and writing forth their common genealogies. Its eleven articles include topics as varied as: the concept of totalitarianism and totalitarian art, totalitarian exhibitions, monuments and architecture, forerunners of totalitarian art in romanticism and heroic realism, and diverse receptions of totalitarian art in democratic cultures.