Culture Rover

#50 - Dutch Treat

Before Adbusters, 2wice, Nest, or even Aspen, there was Wendingen, the Dutch magazine (see a small sample of Wendingen covers).

Wendingen originated in 1918 from the Amsterdam art society Architectura et Amicitia and moving to various publishers until 1932. The title meant "turnings." Each issue focused on a particular topic: dance, architecture, interiors and furniture, sculptures, Eastern art, woodcuts, theater, glass, reinforced concrete, public housing, high-rises, statistical images, crystals, sea shells, marionettes, masks, political cartoons, posters, or a particular artist or country.

The covers drew upon a range of graphical styles: medieval, Asian, modernist, cubist, futurist, surreal, primitivist. What makes them so fun is that form does not necessarily follow content, or if it does, it only does so obliquely.

The representations are sometimes not even associational, making them puzzle-like, endlessly fascinating in the ways they seem to reference beyond their edges, off the canvas, the cover, of what they are ostensibly representing.

For the full story on Wendingen, see Martijn F. Le Coultre's Wendingen: A Journal for the Arts, 1918-1932.

8 February 2005

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