Nationalism, Transnationalism, and the Discourses on Expressionism in Finland

From the November Group to Ina Behrsen-Colliander

Authored by: Timo Huusko , Tutta Palin

The Routledge Companion to Expressionism in a Transnational Context

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138712553
eBook ISBN: 9781315200088
Adobe ISBN:


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In a nation such as Finland, having gained autonomy in 1809, while still part of the Russian Empire, and only achieving full independence in 1917, the history of art is often told from a more or less nationalistic perspective. Moreover, ethno-linguistic and class distinctions cutting across the basic duality of a Swedish-speaking elite versus a Finnish-speaking majority have functioned as a standard element in this “grand narrative.” A closer look at the historical processes by which this discursive field arose and was transformed in the course of the 1910s and the subsequent interwar decades reveals and can further articulate shifts and variations in this representation. Expressionism during this period was associated with French, German, and more generally “Nordic” (Northern European) 1 art, although some influences were also mediated through Russian culture.

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