The threads of turn-of-the-20th century radicalism in the arts and design have by now pretty much been woven into one broad yarn: capital-M Modernism. But the new book The Story of De Stijl: Mondrian to Van Doesburg by Jans Janssen and Michael White offers a studied look at one of those threads, and ultimately argues that the Dutch art, design, and furniture of De Stijl—like Dadism in Switzerland, Futurism in Italy, the Viennese Secession, other national modern movements—is more strange, and thorny than the going narrative suggests. In a compelling trek through the key figures, manifestos, and designs, The Story of De Stijl offers a richly illustrated vision of what animated a coterie of thinkers, makers, and artists in the teens, 20s, and 30s in Holland. The book is out from Abrams in early December for $45, but have a look at our sneak peek at an excellent present for the design lover on your list.
November 22, 2011