The Danish Avant-Garde and World War II: The Helhesten Collective

1st Edition

Kerry Greaves

Published March 20, 2019
Reference - 208 Pages - 8 Color & 26 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138605893 - CAT# K388564
Series: Routledge Research in Art and Politics

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This is the first book to focus on Helhesten (The Hell-Horse), an avant-garde artists’ collective active during the Nazi occupation of Denmark and one of the few tangible connections between radical European art groups from the 1920s to the 1960s. The Danes’ deliberately unskilled painterly abstraction, embrace of the tradition of dansk folkelighed (the popular) and its iterations of egalitarianism and consensus reform, called for the political relevance of art and interrogated the ideologies underlying culture itself. The group’s cultural activism presents an alternative trajectory of continuity, which challenges the customary view of World War II as a moment of artistic rupture.

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