Giulia Bucci

Modernist utopias in 1930s Britain: from Unit One to Circle

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The miscellaneous art volumes "Unit One" and "Circle" were published in England in respectively 1934 and 1937. They both share a common belief in the principles of modernism but at a different degree. "Unit One" consists of a series of statements by a group of artists who had already gathered under the same banner a year before, but their unity was more apparent than real, as the copresence of abstract and surrealist influences shows. "Circle", which initially was probably conceived as an art magazine, wanted to present itself as an international showcase of constructive art, which can be partly explained by the fact that England had become the refuge of several progressive artists and architects from the continent in the 1930s. However, its belated and utopian modernist programme was to dissolve soon after at the outbreak of WW2.

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