Eric Dluhosch & Rostislav Svacha (Ed.) - Karel Teige / 1900-1951
L’Enfant Terrible of the Czech Modernist Avant-Garde. Impressive, well-researched study on the (short) life and art of Karel Teige, a leading figure of the European avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s. Not only writer of profoundly original essays and editor of influential Czech avant-garde journals, Karel Teige was also active as an artist. His oeuvre ranges from paintings, collages and photomontages, to filmscripts, bookcovers and typefaces. While reading like a success story, this life was capped by misery and hardship. When the Communists took over in Czechoslovakia in 1948, Teige was first hailed as progressive, but afterwards denounced for his critical stance. He was condemned for his “cosmopolitanism” – the equivalent of treason – and called a “pornographer”. He died a broken man, forbidden to speak out or to publish. The 14 chapters by various scholars provide a chronological overview of his involvement in various disciplines as well a a thematical exploration of his accomplishments (with extensive essays on his contribution to typography and architecture theory) and ideas. Substantial in appearance and content, this monograph is structured so as to invite the reader to pick and mix, to read whatever takes his fancy, without being confined by a particular order.