The enduring appeal of modernism

This week, together with a very good Slovak friend, I visited the Victoria & Albert Museum in central London to see the exhibition “Modernism: Designing A New World 1914-1939”. It is an excellent exhibition and it has an informative website.
What is modernism? The exhibition describes it as “not a style but a loose collection of ideas” sharing certain underlying principles: “a rejection of history and applied ornament; a preference for abstraction; and a belief that design and technology could transform society”.
Germany and Russia were power houses for Modernism but my Slovak friend was happy to note that Czechoslovakia – as it then was – made significant contributions and indeed the most memorable exhibit at the V&A is a 1936 Tatra car in pristine condition.