From darkness to light. Socialist Modernism of the 1970s and 80s

GAVU — from the collections

5.10.2023 — 24.3.2024

Exhibition authors: Karel Holinger, Nela Kvíčalová, Lucie Peňazová, Veronika Pokorná, František Svačina, and Tomáš Winter.

Created in cooperation with the Department of Art History in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Olomouc — Dr Tomáš Winter’s seminar. 

The collections held by the Czech museums and galleries contain a large number of works and objects from the period of state socialism. However, for most of society today, pieces depicting workers, families, still lifes, landscapes, statesmen, technological progress and other subjects motivated by the hope for a better future, represent decline. These works rest in the darkness of museum and gallery depositories. But the art of socialism was not just about socialist realism, Red Army men, cosmonauts, and prominent Soviet politicians. During the period of normalisation, there was a certain amount of experimentation, and modernity was encouraged — mainly due to the regime’s desire to permeate all phases of art and everyday life. Artists used the impulses of Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism and Surrealism. The emerging young generation in particular worked with new, original forms. The 1970s and 1980s inhabit a blindspot in the history of Czech art and have not yet received sufficient attention. There’s been no effort to define the period’s deeper meaning and historical value. Without placing it in a social, cultural or political context, though, it is difficult to condemn it  to an eternity in the darkness.

 

 

From darkness to light. Socialist Modernism of the 1970s and 80s -
 
From darkness to light. Socialist Modernism of the 1970s and 80s -
From darkness to light. Socialist Modernism of the 1970s and 80s -
From darkness to light. Socialist Modernism of the 1970s and 80s -

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