1918–1939 (Interwar)


The “interwar” period in European history refers to the volatile decades (1918–1939) between some of the world’s most devastating wars. This contradictory era witnessed both the march of Progressivism and the rise of Fascism. The art of this period was also polarized, as movements like Dada and Surrealism responded to the unprecedented death toll of World War I by embracing absurdity, irrationalism, and the unconscious, while other artists “returned to order” by painting in more classical styles. In a similar way, utopian movements like de Stijl, Russian Constructivism, and Suprematism pushed the limits of abstraction, while populist figuration flourished with American Regionalism, Russian Socialist Realism, and Mexican Muralism. This period was brought to an abrupt end by the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and Fascism in Italy, leading to World War II.

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