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Boris Bucan, Bucan Art, 1972|Image courtesy of The Arts Club
Boris Bucan, Bucan Art, 1972|Image courtesy of The Arts Club
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See Cold War Radicalism In 'Displacements: Avant-Garde Eastern And Central European Art'

Picture of Harriet Clugston
Updated: 13 September 2016
This September, a new exhibition at The Arts Club will offer Londoners the chance to gain an insight into the avant-garde art produced across Eastern and Central Europe during the Cold War. Covering the period from the 1960s through to the 1970s, the exhibition will include a selection of radical paintings, drawings, and photography from countries including Poland, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia.

A private members club and hotel on now-fashionable Dover Street, The Arts Club has been an important hub of creativity throughout its history. Founded in 1863 by a group of artists, scientists, and writers, including Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and Lord Leighton, the club has had strong historical links with the Royal Academy, with many academicians still among its members today.

Běla Kolářová, Czech lady With Ermine And Shells, 1963
Běla Kolářová, Czech lady With Ermine And Shells, 1963 | Image courtesy of The Arts Club

Displacements: Avant-Garde Eastern and Central European Art From the Cold War Period will seek to lift the veil on the Iron Curtain, examining how artists of the period, previously overlooked in the Western world, responded to the politics of their day, resisting conventional methods and authoritarian societal norms to develop a bold, nuanced, experimental, and conceptual approach to visual art. The work on display will also demonstrate the artists’ responses to new technology in film and graphic design.

Július Koller, 1992 pen on paper
Július Koller, 1992 pen on paper | Image courtesy of The Arts Club

Significant figures who feature in the exhibition include Hungarian Dóra Maurer, a multi-media artist working in photography, film, and graphic design, noted for her pioneering geometric and mathematical compositions; Edward Krasinski, a Polish sculptor, painter, and installation artist and subject of an upcoming solo exhibition and retrospective at Tate Liverpool; and Běla Kolářová, an artist and photographer from Czechoslovakia celebrated for her trademark ‘artificial negative’, or camera-less photography style, in which imprints of inanimate, daily objects (often associated with femininity) are transferred directly onto photographic paper.

Imre Bak, Blue, 1969
Imre Bak, Blue, 1969 | Image courtesy of The Arts Club

Alongside the work of other prominent artists, the pieces by these groundbreaking, highly individualized artists will seek to develop a coherent narrative, painting a picture of how radical movements and artistic collectives formed in the face of economic, political, and social barriers.

Displacements: Avant-Garde Eastern and Central European Art From the Cold War Period is running on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am- 12pm by appointment only at The Arts Club.

The Arts Club, 40 Dover Street, London W1S 4NP, +44 207 499 8581