Dresden was a hotspot for Europe’s artistic avant-garde in the 1920s. Above all, Soviet Russian Constructivism, the Dutch “De Stijl” movement and the Bauhaus caused a stir in the “Florence on the Elbe”, as Dresden, a city steeped in tradition, was commonly called. Works by El Lissitzky, Piet Mondrian, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer and others were exhibited in the local galleries. The general public rubbed their eyes, local art critics were outraged, yet the open-minded bourgeois establishment visited the exhibitions. Some even bought the new art, especially the well-known Dresden collector and patron Ida Bienert.
In 29 essays, this volume explores the networks of artists, galleries and private collectors. It throws light on how the “Art of the Future”, which was buoyed by social utopian ideals, was exhibited, collected, and discussed in the Dresden of the 1920s – between vehement rejection and enthusiastic approval.