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Artists Under Vichy: A Case of Prejudice and…

Artists Under Vichy: A Case of Prejudice and Persecution

by Michele C. Cone

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691040885, Hardcover)

While France endured one of the darkest hours of its entire history, from the occupation of Paris in June 1940 to the liberation of the city four years later, the French art world displayed an astonishing burst of creativity, an atmosphere of laissez-faire and pluralism that seems at odds with the repressive nature of culture under authoritarian regimes. So reveals Michele Cone in this work on the art of Vichy and occupied France. But, as Cone also discloses, Vichy xenophobia and Nazi racism kept many artists from participating in this bonanza of artistic activity. In "Artists under Vichy", both narrative and illustrations demonstrate in detail the contrast between the "haves" and the "have-nots" during this period. The first section of the work analyzes the lavish attention paid to both academic and nonacademic art by the official French press, by Vichy, and by German observers. Cone hypothesizes that the German strategy in Vichy France was to allow the display of nonconformist art, outlawed as "degenerate" in Germany, in order to distract the public from the secret seizure of museum pieces and Jewish art collections - and from other, far greater Nazi crimes. Neither among the "haves" nor the "have-nots", Picasso, forbidden to exhibit, lived through this period in Paris, quietly but productively. The second section of this book considers his production and that of the true "have-nots" - persecuted artists, including Jews, in hiding or self-imposed exile from Paris in the free zone. Among the "have-nots" discussed here are Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Alberto Magnelli, Otto Freundlich, Victor Brauner and Hans Bellmer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:11 -0400)

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