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Abstract Expressionism Behind the Iron Curtain

August 1, 2017
Title: Abstract Expressionism Behind the Iron CurtainVenue: Pollock Krasner House / East HamptonCategory: ExhibitionDate: 08.03.2017 - 10.28.2017Time: 17.00 h - 19.00 hDescription:  \ EXHIBITION Included with museum admission Abstract Expressionism Behind the Iron Curtain August 3 – October 28, 2017 This highly unusual exhibition addresses a little-known aspect of artistic expression in eastern Europe during the Cold War period, when official art in Soviet Bloc countries was strictly regulated and was required to adhere to Communist Party doctrine. In spite of such restrictions, however, there were artists who were aware of developments in contemporary abstract art, either through personal travel and contact with artists in the west or via international exhibitions, and who responded to those trends. Some immigrated to western Europe in order to practice their art, while others remained in their home countries and created bodies of very personal work that was not officially sanctioned. The exhibition focuses on representatives of the latter group. The artists are Andrej Jemec (b. 1934, Slovenia), Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990, Poland), Jan Kotík (1916-2002, Czechoslovakia), Edo Murtić (1921-2005, Croatia) and Romul Nuţiu (1932-2012, Romania). Their paintings illustrate each artist’s adaptation of an Abstract Expressionist approach—spontaneous gesture, subjective imagery, and emotional content—seen in relation to American precedents and contemporaneous European trends such as l’art informel and Spatialism. Works are lent by the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź; Muzej Suvremene Umjetnosti, Zagreb; Fundatia Joana Grevers, Municht; and private collectors. A fully illustrated catalog, with essays by Charlotta Kotík, former Brooklyn Museum curator and daughter-in-law of Jan Kotík, and Philip Rylands, director emeritus of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, will accompany the exhibition, which will travel to the Steinberg Museum of Art at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus in Brookville, New York. The exhibition, catalog, and related programming have been made possible by the Thaw Charitable Trust Endowment, the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Suffolk County Office of Cultural Affairs, the Herman Goldman Foundation and Dorothy Lichtenstein.