Passages online No. 5

Discovering/Uncovering the Modernity of Prehistory

Elke Seibert, Agathe Cabau and Markus A. Castor (ed.)

Language of the publication: English


The research field of prehistory and modernity is very topical in both French as well as German art history, though the traditions differ. In view of this historical situation, the goal of the conference Préhistoire et Modernité / Prähistorie und Modernität (German Center for Art History Paris, 2017) was to raise awareness and initiate a dialog, which opened up new perspectives for all participants and generated innovative research. Prehistory, or primeval times, leads back to fundamental art historical questions: When did abstraction begin? What specific qualities of prehistoric artefacts contributed to solutions to artistic problems of the European avant-gardists like Picasso, Miró, Baumeister, Giacometti or Bataille? What is characteristic of prehistoric art as compared to other arts premiers? Work-related questions stood at the center of the discussions and revealed interdisciplinary connections and opened debates intended to inspire further research.

With essays by Markus A. Castor, Rémi Labrusse, Harald Floss, Maria Gonzalez Menendez, Thierry Dufrêne and Elke Seibert

English translations by Hayley Haupt, Chris Schaefer, Lynda Stringer and Stanton Taylor

Research Projects

ISBN 978-3-947449-79-8 (PDF) / 978-3-948466-05-3 (Hardcover)
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Link to the library catalog