Introduction: The canonisation of modernism: Exhibition strategies in the 20th and 21st centuries

Gregor Langfeld, Tessel M. Bauduin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This feature section explores the canonisation of modern art and, particularly, the decisive role exhibitions played in this process. Besides a general framing of art-historical concepts and approaches regarding the canon and canon formation, the contributions in this feature section explore the reception and canonisation of specific works of art, artists, artists’ groups and movements. Common concerns across these contributions are the interrelations between the aesthetic and the extra-aesthetic within canon formation and the function of ideology and politics (and depoliticisation) within this process. The case studies that are discussed range from the mural Swing Landscape (1938) by Stuart Davis, the Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova and surrealism to the Dutch Cobra group and post-war German art, up to the recent reception of Latin American and Eastern European art.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19/LB1
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Art Historiography
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • modernism
  • modern art
  • canon
  • canonisation
  • reception history
  • the modern art museum
  • history of collecting
  • history of exhibiting


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