Art, Prophecy and Utopian Dreams

Ernst Neizvestny’s The Prophet. Photo: Bengt Oberger.

John Berger, the late British art critic, argues in his essay “An Article of Faith” (1968) that prophecy in art is “not indulging in idle fancy but responding intuitively to a concrete situation.” Prior to the First World War, “this atmosphere of promise and prophecy found its purest expression in cubism.” The Dutch de Stijl (The Style) movement, between 1917 and 1931, pursued “the logic of cubism further than the cubists dared…