Explores Chinese artistic and stylistic influences on Modernist practice in early-twentieth century Britain
This 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 idealized notion of China, chinoiserie was revived in in London's 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 Modernism's 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 commercialized. 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.
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, film and dance, interior and garden design, Ideal Home and international exhibitions
British Modernism and Chinoiserie
Edinburgh University Press