Years of Disarray 1908–1928 | Avant-gardes in the Central Europe

The Years of Disarray exhibition is focused on sources and manifestations of the dramatic change in the period covering the final decade of existence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the first decade of its successor states.

The heart of the exhibition represents the examination of change of human individuality that was profoundly affected by the First World War. At the beginning, there was a determined individual calling into question the boundaries of his own world, at the end was an artificial being whose aim was to oust and replace the surviving human. Sharp contrasts define the character of the period between 1908 and 1928 and produce dynamic fields for various artistic, markedly different approaches through which they penetrate regardless of trends, groups, movements or styles. They affected the everyday life of man who was initially sinking into his limitless core, while being later afraid of the unified standard that made him into a mere mechanical puppet.


The exhibition also takes into consideration the events in Berlin where many artists found exhibiting and publishing opportunities, and in Paris that continued to be the “city of light” for them and in which many artists had lived for longer periods of time or drew inspiration from its stimuli. Created by artists themselves, a busy network of contacts was created and spread within the changing social developments in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and subsequently in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Poland and Yugoslavia. It interconnected the individual centres of modern art, such as Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Košice, Ljubljana, Lviv, Bucharest, Novi Sad. Collaboration took place by means of touring exhibitions, various magazines, extensive mutual correspondence, journeys of individual artists and sometimes their forced exile.




The Years of Disarray exhibition presented in Olomouc Museum of Art consists of twelve parts covering the above described situation of the period 1908–1928.