Review by Choice Review
Nordic Dawn is published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name presented in Vienna and The Hague, June 2005-January 2006. The publication contains thematic essays on Finnish avant-garde art during the formative decades of European modernism. From their geographic position between Europe and Russia, Finnish modernists drew from these opposing cultures while examining Finland's own legendary past in order to explore a national psyche. The essays explore the particular influences of Scandinavian art, especially the works of Edvard Munch, and of the Mir iskusstva (World of Art) group and Russian avant-garde art, on the development of Finnish modernism. Other essays outline the specific inspiration on the Finnish psyche of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, and of the Karelian region of eastern Finland and bordering Russia, the land of ancient runic culture that Finnish modernists saw as a source of native primitivism. The publication also includes thorough biographical entries on two dozen Finnish modernists, a bibliography, and a time line of important cultural events in Finland and greater Europe from 1890 to 1920. This publication contributes significantly to an expanding understanding of early modernism. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. W. S. Bradley Mesa State College
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