Posted on behalf of Eva Forgacs. --ed.
Between Point Zero and the Iron Curtain: International Cooperation in Art, 1945-1948
The period between 1945-1948 was one of great hopes and initiatives to culturally reunite the war-torn European continent and the world beyond it. The Yalta Conference, held in February 1945, issued the Declaration of Liberated Europe promising the European nations "to create democratic institutions of their own choice." In the circuits of art and culture few anticipated that Stalin would increase Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and that, by 1949, an 'iron curtain' would descend, cutting the region off from the Western half of the continent and the world, placing it under Soviet rule. In the immediate aftermath of the war, many artists and curators, in West, Central, and East Europe alike, pursued the idea of a new, united, and internationally open European art and culture. Guardians of modernism such as, for example, the leaders of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the organizers of the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris, or the "European School" in Budapest, worked on reestablishing continuity with interwar modernism as well as supporting nascent postwar art. The self-consciously international CoBrA group, for example, was one of the first to reach out to such Eastern European artists as the Czech "Ra" group, hoping to develop further contacts.
Papers discussing the apparently wide open possibilities of the post-World War II period internationally, or within the boundaries of any one country, are invited to shine new light on this chapter of twentieth-century art history. This period is important to consider now. Shaken by the dictatorial political regimes and the trauma of World War II, it was a moment when the recovery of pre-World War II modernism and the fostering of a new internationalism was a worldwide effort, anticipating the global, international culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
The deadline for paper proposals is August 17, 2020. For instructions on how to submit a proposal, see: https://caa.confex.com/caa/2021/cfp.cgi
To submit a proposal or ask a question, contact Eva Forgacs (Art Center College of Design, Pasadena) at: email@example.com