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Devetsil


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(1920–31)

This avant‐garde Czechoslovakian group of designers, architects, painters, theorists, and writers was founded in Prague in 1920, flourishing during the rest of the decade with an associated group based in Brno from 1923. Despite several members' roots in Czech Cubism there was a strong Constructivist flavour in much of Devetsil's graphic work, influenced by knowledge of the work of El Lissitsky and Russian Constructivism. The group was also interested in popular culture, jazz, film, and other aspects of contemporary life. Karel Teige (1900–51), one of the group's leading figures, was important in the promotion of its outlook, bringing its ideas into public view through publication, exhibitions, and theatrical events. He was aware of many progressive trends through first‐hand experience of them, visiting Paris several times in the 1920s, making contact with the Bauhaus in Weimar, and spending a month in the Soviet Union in 1925. Devetsil's printed output included a series of Prague‐based periodicals such as ReD (1922), of which Teige was the editor in chief and designer; others included Disk (1923–5) and Tam‐Tam (1925–6) and the Brno group's periodicals included Index (1929–39). Key Devetsil exhibitions included the Bazaar of Modern Art (1923) and the Devetsil Spring show (1927). Design activities spanned several fields including graphics, typography, furniture, interiors, film, theatre set design, and photography. Devetsil's architectural interests were strongly represented by Ardev, a subgroup founded in 1923 that advocated the clarity of form and machine age aesthetic associated with Modernism.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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