The Modernist Review #34: Modernism and Science

30th September 2021

The beginning of Autumn is a great time for reflection, and 2021 has given us more than enough to think about. As we debate the ethics of vaccine boosters, try to interpret the erratic rise and fall of the graphs, and do our best to resist imitating Chris Whitty’s ‘Next Slide Please!’ whenever we open Powerpoint, it’s clear that science – and the debates it elicits – have become increasingly unavoidable. The last two years have shown more than ever the ways in which science – its methods, images, and practical applications – pervade and shape both our lived experience and our artistic interpretation of our place in the natural world. Of course, though science’s cultural presence may have been particularly stark of late, it is certainly nothing new. This issue of the Modernist Review brings a wealth of examples of the varied ways in which modernism and science were interwoven in the first half of the twentieth century to generate innovative aesthetics, striking social commentary, and dramatic philosophical and political conversations across fields.

Continue reading “The Modernist Review #34: Modernism and Science”

Modernism and Science: Call for Papers

In an interview with Arts and Decoration magazine 1915, Marcel Duchamp praised the ‘scientific spirit’ of Seurat and Cezanne, then predicted that ‘the twentieth century is to be still more abstract, more cold, more scientific’.[1] In this, he was presented as an ‘iconoclast’, providing a dramatic new perspective on art. Yet, a wide range of modernist writers and artists witnessed and responded to a world in which scientific innovation was impossible to ignore. Continue reading “Modernism and Science: Call for Papers”

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