Sport and modernism in the visual arts in Europe, c. 1909-39

By Bernard Vere

Sport and modernism in the visual arts in Europe, <i>c</i>. 1909-39


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2681-8
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: March 2018
  • BIC Category: History of sport, Art & Design Styles: Modernist Design & Bauhaus, The arts / Art & design styles: c 1900 to c 1960, ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945), SPORTS & RECREATION / History, History of sport, Modern Art, Art History


This book highlights sport as one of the key inspirations for an international range of modernist artists. Sport emerged as a corollary of the industrial revolution and developed into a prominent facet of modernity as it spread across Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. It was celebrated by modernists both for its spectacle and for the suggestive ways in which society could be remodelled on dynamic, active and rational lines. Artists included sport themes in a wide variety of media and frequently referenced it in their own writings. Sport was also political, most notably under fascist and Soviet regimes, but also in democratic countries, and the works produced by modernists engage with various ideologies. This book provides new readings of aspects of a number of avant-garde movements, including Italian futurism, cubism, German expressionism, Le Corbusier's architecture, Soviet constructivism, Italian rationalism and the Bauhaus.


Introduction: why sport?
1 The man-machine: the modern sports of cycling and motor racing
2 Adversarial modernisms: the spectacle of boxing and the geometry of tennis
3 Oval balls and cubist players: French paintings of rugby
4 Of gods and men: the Olympic games and its rivals
5 The stadium has carried the day against the art museum
Conclusion: body politics
Select bibliography


Bernard Vere is Programme Director of the MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design at Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

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