CONF Oct 22, 2015

Avant-garde Migrations (Lisbon, 19-20 Nov 15)

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Nov 19–20, 2015

Joana Cunha Leal, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

International Symposium Avant-Garde Migrations

Organised by:
Art History Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
with the support of RIHA (International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art)

Keynote speakers:
Nina Gourianova - Northwestern University, Chicago
Enric Bou - Università Ca Foscari Venezia
Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel - École normale supérieure, Paris

The Symposium proposes an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural analysis on avant-garde forced and deliberate migrations in the twentieth century, in particular during the so-called “interwar” period (1918-1939). It seeks to debate the significance of artistic migrations for both avant-garde formations and individual artists (painters, illustrators, poets, writers, architects, designers, photographers, film makers, etc) by considering not only major “émigré” movements from “peripheries” to well established artistic centres, as Paris, Berlin or Moscow, but also lesser known nomadic tendencies and circuits within regions and continents, those caused by the two world conflicts, and those triggered by less accounted for political, social, cultural, or personal circumstances.

This is not just another forum on art in emigration, the topic well researched in the past two decades. Instead, while discussing the diversity of the twentieth century “migration phenomenon”, and the prevailing international character of the avant-garde movement, the Avant-garde Migrations Symposium aims at observing the significance of cultural and artistic circuits, transfers, collaborations, dialogues and confrontations within groups and formations that cannot be entirely considered under the umbrella of straightforward centre/periphery dichotomies. We would like to question the validity of the well-established methodological frameworks strictly operating within the concepts of “artistic influences” or “assimilation of pre-fixed styles”, which often feel outdated and dogmatic when applied to the arts being produced.
This Symposium will address the effects of avant-garde artists’ motion between places, its contingent and historical factors, the national and trans-national grounds of artistic production, as well as cultural and artistic intersections, meetings, discoveries, paradoxes and exchanges streaming from translations, travel, escape, dislocation and exile.


Thursday, 19th November

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation & Art History Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Keynote speaker: Enric Bou , Università Ca Foscari Venezia
From Barcelona to Paris: Versions of Surrealism


Session 1 - Chair: Vojtech Lahoda

Ljiliana Kolešnik, Institue of Art History Zagreb
Artur Šilic, independent researcher
Spatial and Temporal Trajectories of Southeastern European Avant-garde

Lidia Gluchowska, University of Zielona Góra
Nomadic Avant-garde and exterritorial art groups? The case of Bunt (1918-22) and a.r. (1929-32)

Irina Genova, New Bulgarian University Sofia
Avant-garde and Censorship: European and USA art in Bulgarian publications between 1923 and 1934


Session 2 - Chair: David Cottington

Kate Kangaslahti, University of Leuven
“Nothing to do with politics but only with art”: Wassily Kandinsky in Paris, 1934-1944

Naomi Hume, Seattle University
Mapping Migration: Emil Filla, Otakar Nejedlý and the Expressive Geographical Map

Nicholas Sawicki, Leigh University
Otakar Kubín and the Collapse of Cubism in Paris After the War


Session 3 - Chair: Annika Öhrner

Benedikt Hjartarson, UNiversity of Iceland
Gösta Adrian-Nilsson’s Sacred Geometry, the Manifesto and the Tradition of Avant-Garde Eclecticism

Annika Gunnarsson, Moderna Museet Stockholm
What Can Count as the Avant-Garde? An Example of Four Men and a Woman


Keynote speaker: Nina Gourianova, Northwestern University
Avant-garde migrations: Culture without borders or decline of the West?

18.30 Opening of the The Delaunay Circle and Hein Semke exhibitions at Centro de Arte
Moderna, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Friday 20th November

9.30 Keynote speaker Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel ECOLE NORMALE SUPÉRIEURE, PARIS
Mapping the International Circulations of Avant-Garde Art, 1919-1939: a Reassessment of the Canonical (Parisian) Geopolitics of Modernism


Session 4 – Chair: Nina Gourianova

Erwin Kessler, Romanian Academy Bukarest
“Corporate” Peripheral Cosmopolitanism as Avant-garde Artistic Practice in
Romania in the 1920s and 1930s

Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece, Latvian National Museum of Art Riga
Latvian Modernism: Particular Conditions – Widened Horizons

Annika Öhrner, Södertörn University
Avant-garde strategies in a displaced market. Stockholm 1915-1920

Joana Cunha Leal, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Delaunayan paradoxes and the social spaces of the migrating avant-garde


Session 5 - Chair: Benedikt Hjartarson

Rita Gomes Ferrão, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Hansi Staël: Finding artistic identity in between cultures

Bela Tsipuria, Ilia State University Tbilisi
Tbilisi Avant-garde: Migration from the Centre to the Periphery

Eva Forgacs, Art Center College of Design Pasadena
Unwanted by Both the Political Right and the Left. Hungarian émigrés in the early


Session 6 - Chair: Ana Vasconcelos

Michal Wenderski, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
A lifelong journey of learning: the topos of travel in the biographies of avant-garde artists

Isabel Wünsche, Jacobs University Bremen
European Émigré Artists and the Summer Sessions at Mills College in Oakland, California in the 1930s and 1940s

Noit Banai, University of Vienna
Towards a New Historiography of the Avant-Garde: Subjectivization and Techniques of Racialization


Session 7 - Chair: Enric Bou

Per Bäckström, Karlstad University
Öyvind Fahlström: the Swedish neo-avantgarde’s driving force in New York

Tania Ørum, University of Copenhagen
Yoshio Nakajima: A Japanese Artist from Sweden

Closing remarks
David Cottington, Kingston University London

Joana Cunha Leal - Art History Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Ana Vasconcelos - Modern Art Center, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Begoña Farré Torras - Art History Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Avant-garde Migrations is the third yearly meeting of the Comparative Avant-garde & Modernisms Workshop.

Scientific Committee:
Ana Vasconcelos - Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
Annika Öhrner - Södertorn University,Stockholm
Benedikt Hjartarson - University of Iceland, Reykjavik
Joana Cunha Leal - Art History Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Lidia Gluchowska - Institute of Visual Arts, University of Zielona Góra, Poland/Humanities Faculty, University of Bamberg, Germany
Nina Gourianova - Northwestern University, Chicago
Vojtech Lahoda - Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

CONF: Avant-garde Migrations (Lisbon, 19-20 Nov 15). In:, Oct 22, 2015 (accessed Jun 20, 2024), <>.