British Modernism and ChinoiserieEdited by Anne WitchardExplores Chinese artistic and stylistic influences on Modernist practice in early-twentieth century BritainThis volume examines the ways in which an intellectual vogue for a mythic China was a constituent element of British Modernism. Traditionally defined as a decorative style that conjured a fanciful and idealised notion of China, chinoiserie was revived among Londons avant-garde circles, the Bloomsbury group, the Vorticists and others, who like their eighteenth-century forebears, turned to China as a cultural and aesthetic utopia. As part of Modernisms challenge to the universality of so-called Western values and aesthetics, the turn to China would contribute much more than has been acknowledged to Modernist thinking. As these 10 new chapters demonstrate, China as an intellectual and aesthetic utopia dazzled intellectuals and aesthetes. At the same time the consumption of Chinese exoticism became commercialised. The essays show that from cutting-edge Modernist chic to mass culture and consumer products, the vogue for chinoiserie style and motifs permeated the art and design of the period. Key Features* 10 original chapters from leading international figures in the field, including Elizabeth Chang, David Porter and Patricia Laurence* Includes 28 figures (10 in colour) to illustrate the text* Coverage of literature, painting and poetry, as well as performance and visual media, theatre, fashion and dance, interior and garden design and international exhibitions.Anne Witchard is a Senior Lecturer in the department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster.
British Modernism and Chinoiserie
Edinburgh University Press