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Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950 (World of Art)

Maja Fowkes, Reuben Fowkes


The first ever comprehensive, transnational survey of the major movements and practitioners of recent art from central and eastern Europe

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In this path-breaking 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.

While politics in the region have been marked by unstable geography and dramatic transitions, artists have forged a path of persistent experiment and innovation. This generously illustrated overview explores the richness of their singular contribution to recent art history. Tracing art-historical changes from the short-lived unison of the socialist realist period to the incredible diversity of art in the post-communist era, 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.


'The single most influential series of art books ever published'

'Outstanding … exceptionally authoritative and well illustrated'
Sunday Times

'Through these books, which almost anyone can afford, art becomes more accessible'
David Hockney

R. B. Kitaj

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 232 pp

Publication date: 12 March 2020

ISBN: 9780500204375

Contents List

Introduction • 1. 1950s: Competing Paths to a Higher Form of Realism • 2. 1960s: Gestures of Liberation • 3. 1970s: Practising Impossible Art • 4. 1980s: Excesses of Non-Conformity • 5. 1990s: Critical Exposures • 6. 2000s: Radical Recollections of the Global Transitioners • 7. 2010s: Sculpting Uncertainty • Conclusion

About the Author

Maja and Reuben Fowkes are curators and art historians with a focus on the theory and aesthetics of Eastern European art from the socialist era to the present. They are co-directors of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art, a research centre in Budapest that operates at the intersection between ecological thought and contemporary art.

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