14-07-2020
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Huis van het boek www.huisvanhetboek.nl

De Gemeenschap: Modernism rediscovered

By 14-07-2020

The exhibition offers an overview of the striking, modernist covers of the Catholic magazine De Gemeenschap (The Community) and of books from the publisher with the same name from the period 1925-1934. The exhibition curated by guest curator Lex van de Haterd shows that De Gemeenschap has been of great importance for modernism in the Netherlands. It is surprising that it was precisely a Catholic monthly magazine that was one of the first magazines in the Netherlands that gave space to modernist designers, stylists and photographers. Both the content and the design of the magazine could be called revolutionary for those days. This regularly led to tension with the diocese and the censor appointed by it: a Christ abstracted to lines and a circle on the cross, for example, was an eyesore to the church.

From Expressionism and Constructivism to New Objectivity
The Community appeared for the first time in 1925. The employees of the magazine and the publishing house were in the period between 1925-1930 especially inspired by Expressionism and Constructivism. From 1930 to 1934 it is especially the New Objectivity with the new typography and the new photography that led to very eyecatching covers. Designers such as Gerrit Rietveld, Sybold van Ravesteyn, Willem Maas, Paul Schuitema and photographers such as Germaine Krull and Kees Strooband participated in the magazine and also made covers for books by authors such as Hendrik Marsman, Paul van Ostaijen, Albert Helman and Ferdinand Bordewijk.

In the exhibition special attention is paid to ‘master printer’ Charles Nypels who has been of great importance for the design of magazine and publishing house. House of the Book has recently acquired his archive.

Book The Community and Modernism
At the exhibition the book De Gemeenschap en het Modernisme (The Community and Modernism) written by guest curator Lex van de Haterd will appear at publishing house Uit het lood in Leiden.

Exhibition ‘De Gemeenschap: Modernism rediscovered’
Huis van het boek | Museum Meermanno
Prinsessegracht 30, The Hague
13 June – 6 September, 2020
www.huisvanhetboek.nl