In this pathbreaking new history, Maja and Reuben Fowkes introduce outstanding artworks and major figures from across central and Eastern Europe to reveal the movements, theories, and styles that have shaped artistic practice since 1950. They emphasize the particularly rich and varied art scenes of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, extending their gaze at intervals to East Germany, Romania, the Baltic states, and the rest of the Balkans.
This generously illustrated overview explores the richness of this region’s artists’ singular contribution to recent art history. Tracing art-historical changes from 1950 to now, the authors examine the repercussions of political events on artistic life—notably the uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the Solidarity movement in Poland, and the collapse of the communist bloc. But their primary interest is in the experimental art of the neo-avant-garde that resisted official agendas and engaged with global currents such as performance art, video, multimedia, and net art. Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950 is a comprehensive, transnational survey of the major movements of art from this region.
A strength of this introductory survey is the authors' commitment to showcasing artworks…which reveal degrees of complexity that cut through static claims to identity and politically overdetermined narratives of art in Central and Eastern Europe… In 211 richly illustrated pages, the authors cover seven decades, countless artists and art movements, and numerous countries from the Baltics to the Balkans. Central and Eastern European Art is impressive in its scope and effort to represent artworks from across these diverse geographic and cultural contexts… From the shadow of state socialism, Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950 culls a vibrant, future-oriented account of contemporary art that is galvanized not by a thin hope for Western-style democracy but by a steadfast reevaluation of local histories, collective memories, and artistic traditions… Indispensable.
Maja Fowkes is a curator and art historian with a focus on the theory and aesthetics of Eastern European art from the socialist era to the present. Fowkes is a co-director of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art in London.
Reuben Fowkes is a curator and art historian with a focus on the theory and aesthetics of Eastern European art from the socialist era to the present. Fowkes is a co-director of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art in London.