With its show DYNAMICS! Cubism / Futurism / KINETICISM, the Belvedere offers a comprehensive insight into abstraction as practiced in Vienna between 1919 and 1929, in the context of European Modernism. The phenomenon of Viennese Kineticism, which has hitherto attracted little attention internationally, is presented alongside masterpieces from all over Europe, including works by František Kupka, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Carlo Carrà, and Giacomo Balla.
In the early 1920s, it was particularly the students in Franz Cizek’s class at the Vienna School of Applied Arts who dealt with Cubism and Italian and Russian Futurism - art styles for which, contrary to Paris or Berlin, no tradition had yet been established in Vienna. Cizek’s class for ornamental studies for a brief period became a place where avant-garde trends in Vienna converged.
“Everything is spinning, everything is in motion” was a characteristic dictum from that era which helps explain why artists, encouraged by the insights of scientists and philosophers, sought to transcribe the dynamism of everyday activity into their art.
Inspired by the educational reform movement, Cizek gave free reign to his students’ verve. What is more, he supported them by providing opportunities to learn from the arts, from science, aesthetics and cultural history, and to transform this input into a novel geometricizing formal language.
A joint project by the Belvedere and the Vienna University of Applied Arts.