East European Art History: two generations PDF Print

Date: 9 and 11 December 2010
Place: MACBA

The term "Eastern European" came into frequent use only after the communist regimes in this part of the world had collapsed. There was, on the one hand, the Western interest in Eastern art, which increased dramatically in the early 1990s, and on the other, the strong need for a common narrative of Eastern European art that was felt particularly by young art historians and artists from various Eastern European countries. In the 1990s, a first generation of art historians and artists started tackling the question of a common Eastern European identity. Working under conditions that were still rather poor, they began exchanging ideas and developing diverse forms of collaboration, starting in this way the processes of historicizing art in the post-communist countries. At the end of the 1990s, a second generation of art historians and artists emerged into a world that had much better-developed networks. Proceeding from the results arrived at by the first generation they have been trying to deepen the knowledge on specific neo-avant-garde artists and movements. The question of a common Eastern European identity is no longer their main preoccupation, although the issues of unrealised communist utopias have remained in the field of their research. The December PEI seminar will present some of the activities of this second generation of Eastern European art historians.


Piotr Piotrowski, Natasa Petresin-Bachelez, Ivet Curlin from WHW and the students of MACBA’s Independent Studies Programme (PEI)