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23. The New Iconoclasm. The Avant-Garde And The Catholic Church

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Chapter Summary

In the sixteenth century a Protestant iconoclastic fury raged through a number of countries in Western Europe destroying crosses and images of saints. In 20th century the Catholic Church in turn waged a battle for sometime against images in the church, namely images in tradition of the Avant-garde. This chapter shows that the Avant-garde not only considered itself to be a new art movement, but also a competitive spiritual movement, filling in the void left by churches and establishment politics. It unleashed a battle of images and in a certain sense an iconoclastic fury directed against old forms and ideas. The chapter delves into the Catholic struggle against Avant-garde. It examines one Dutch case, the Aad de Haas affair in Holland in 1949. The chapter deals with the question of why in second instance the Avant-garde was embraced and there was talk of an 'artistic Aggiornamento' in 1950's and 1960's.

Keywords: Aad de Haas affair; artistic Aggiornamento; Avant-garde; Catholic Church; Protestant iconoclastic fury



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