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Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History



Library Seminar

By confrontations, on 5 November 2019

Further group seminars expanded the discussion away from Czechoslovak art histories, bringing perspectives from Bulgarian, Romanian, Estonian and Latvian art contexts.

Dessislava Dimova examined the practice of Vladimir Ivanov from the 1970s and 1980s to open up the debate around the supposed lack of modernist and neo-avant-garde traditions in Bulgaria, pointing to the interchangeability of abstract lines and human figures.

Corina Apostol focused on the period of the 1980s, problematising the porous divide between the official art of the late socialist period in Romania and the critical and artistic strategies that bridged activism, community art, performance and social practice.

Gregor Taul shared his research into Soviet monumental decorative art, in tracking down surviving murals and designs in often derelict public buildings and factories and returning to them a systematic art historical analysis, befitting historical works of public art that deserve to be preserved and restored rather than allowed to deteriorate and disappear.

Ieva Astahovska examined the trajectory of the notion of Baltic art as a distinct branch of East European art through international exhibitions and biennials, exploring its importance for the development of a post-Soviet regional identity.