Non-Conformist Art in Communist Eastern EuropeBack to modules »
In the 1960s and 1970s many artists in the U.S. complained about the 'tyranny' of depoliticized abstract art that allowed little space for using art in the fight for human rights. At the same time, in a large part of Eastern Europe, abstract art could be understood as a form of cultural opposition to a system that radically restricted human and civil rights. After Stalinist policy that propagated the exclusivity of socialist realism, Post-Stalinist regimes with more diverse cultural political profiles emerged with varying degrees of tolerance towards modernism and the neo-avantgarde greatly. The aim of this module is to compare the art scenes of Eastern Europe under Communism, with a special focus on the divergent manifestations of non-conformist art. Students will discover how and why certain artistic practices were labelled undesirable and harmful in one country and under what conditions the same practices were allowed to be followed in another.