Art In Europe 1945–1968
The Continent that the EU does not know

22. 10. 2016 – 29. 1. 2017

Exhibition partners: the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and the ROSIZO Gallery in Moscow, and the BOZAR Gallery in Brussles
The exhibition project was supported by: the Galerie Zdeněk Sklenář , Flanders – State of the Art, the Fondazione/Stiftung, and the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung
ART IN EUROPE 1945 - 1968 – The Continent that the EU does not know
Together with the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the ROSIZO Gallery in Moscow and the BOZAR Gallery in Brussels, the ZKM is organising the large-scale exhibition project entitled Art in Europe 1945-1968: Facing the Future, curated by Eckhart Gillen and Peter Weibel.
The exhibition focuses on the integration of cultural forces on the Eurasian continent and also takes into account a central cultural region, which was repeatedly shaken and disrupted by wars and crises in the 20th century and ultimately torn apart by them. The period of 1945 to 1968, which is highlighted in the exhibition, in many ways embodies the search for artistic and political perspectives, which were forward-looking in contradictory ways. After the end of the Second World War in 1945, the existing situation on political and cultural boundaries continued to escalate, until, as a result of the anti-American student revolts and the Neue Ostpolitik (new eastern policy) introduced by Willy Brandt, the year 1968 became a critical milestone in European post-WWII history – a decisive turning point that shaped the future in both the East and the West.
For the first time since 1945, it is now possible to realise the idea of retrospectively tracing the history of art in the whole of Europe. To date, the attention of historiography was largely focused on Abstract Expressionism as a symbolisation of the Free West, while Socialist Realism embodied the conservatism of the Communist East. Today, however, we know that this dominant model of art history was a product of the Cold War. For this reason, the exhibition attempts to reinterpret the development of art in Europe from a new, pan-European perspective and accounts for a specific renaissance of European art and culture during the period of 1945 to 1968. As the exhibition project brings together the Neo-Avant-Garde from the East and West, it becomes evident that many new art forms (produced after the war) – from media art to conceptual art, and from performance art to sound art – originated in Europe or developed in parallel in Western Europe, the USA, Russia and Eastern Europe.
With the collaborative efforts of three internationally-renowned museums, the exhibition unites more than 500 loans from over 200 artists into a panorama of developments in pan-European art on both sides of the historic Iron Curtain.
At the ZKM, which is focusing on the experimental artistic developments of the 1950s and 1960s in one of its programme directions, the exhibition concedes significant changes with regard to identifying its central focal points and how it is being expanded. Representatives of the Western Neo-Avant-Garde – like the ZERO group – are now appearing at the ZKM for the first time in the context of new Eastern European and Russian trends that have developed in parallel – such as the Nove Tendencije and the Dvizhenie Group. Information regarding the exhibition’s central focal points, as well as about the artists and works that will be displayed at the ZKM as a part of this exhibition of European art will be published here at the end of September.
This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue mark the start of a new narrative about Europe. The separation of Europe as a result of the Yalta Conference in 1945 and the resulting Cold War had a grave impact not only on Eastern Europe but also on Western Europe. The fact that Western Europe accepted this separation until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 amounts to self-amputation. The exhibition aims to retrospectively bring closer together what grew apart and moved in different directions during the time of a divided Europe and thus further suture the gaping cultural wound that still exists between Eastern and Western Europe. The image of this “suture” itself is documented multiple times in the various artistic manifestations from the time between 1945 and 1968.
This reunification of Eastern and Western Europe, as put into place by the exhibition in the name of art, not only closes a gap within art history, but it should also be taken as an active plea for Europe – to face the future. The exhibition contrasts current economic and political forces, which are propelling Europe towards the right and back into the former nationalism, with a committed, alternative narrative. It is the task of art to reveal and show alternatives and facilitate change.
Represented artists: Marc Adrian, Yaacov Agam, Kurd Alsleben, Gábor Altorjay, Hans Peter Alvermann, Eric Andersen, Giovanni Anselmo, Marina Apollonio, Karel Appel, ARCHIGRAM, Arman, Armando, Art & Language, Roy Ascott, Enrico Baj, Vojin Bakić, Mario Ballocco, Paolo Baratella, Gianfranco Baruchello, Georg Baselitz, Max Beckmann, Otto Beckmann, Alfred Graßl, Joseph Beuys, Remo Bianco, Alberto Biasi (Gruppo N), Ely Bielutin, Max Bill, Hans Bischoffshausen, Agostino Bonalumi, Davide Boriani (Gruppo T), Václav Boštík, Van den, Guy Branden, Robert Breer, Jacques Brissot, Bazon Brock, Marcel Broodthaers, Günter Brus, Tadeusz Brzozowski, Bernard Buffet, Erik Bulatov, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin, Alberto Burri, Hal Busse, Reg Butler, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Anthony Caro, Enrico Castellani, Jorge Castillo, Karel Černý, Ennio Chiggio, Christo, Inge Claus-Jansen, Ettore Colla, Compos 68, Constant, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Fritz Cremer, Roberto Crippa, Almir da Silva Mavignier, Dadamaino, Hanne Darboven, Gabriele de Vecchi (Gruppo T), Herman De Vries, Guy Debord, Alexander Deineka, Hugo Demartini, Gérard Deschamps, Bruno di Bello, Lucia di Luciano, Braco Dimitrijević, Milan Dobeš, Piero Dorazio, Gianni Dova, Jean Dubuffet, François Dufrêne, Umberto Eco, Equipo 57, Equipo Realidad, Miklós Erdély, EXAT 51, Valie Export, Agenore Fabbri, Luciano Fabro, Öyvind Fahlström, Harun Farocki, Jean Fautrier, Stano Filko, Robert Filliou, Constantin Flondor, Piero Fogliati, Lucio Fontana, Lucian Freud, Krisztián Frey, Bulat Galeyev und Prometheus-Büro, Ivo Gattin, Poul Gernes, Karl Gerstner, Stefan Gierowski, Hermann Goepfert, Gorgona Group, Zbigniew Gostomski, Tomislav Gotovac, Karl Otto Götz, Lily Greenham, HAP Grieshaber, Franco Grignani, Groupe de recherche d’art visuel, Hans Grundig, Milan Grygar, Renato Guttuso, Hans Haacke, Dieter Hacker, Raymond Hains, Matjaž Hanžek, Haus-Rucker-Co., Bernhard Heiliger, Wilhelm Hein, Jan Henderikse, Maurice Henry, Eva Hesse, Gerhard Hoehme, Oskar Holweck, Miljenko Horvat, HP Zimmer, Alfred Hrdlicka, Francisco Infante-Arana, Isidore Isou, Asger Jorn, Nam June Paik, Ilya Kabakov, Tadeusz Kantor, Lajos Kassák, Ilona Keserü, Yves Klein, Julije Knifer, Milan Knížák, Viacheslav Koleichuk, Július Koller, Béla Kondor, Gyula Konkoly, Arthur Køpcke, Dezső Korniss, Edward Krasiński, Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, Radoslav Kratina, Kurt Kren, Norbert Kricke, Vlado Kristl, Erkki Kurenniemi, László Lakner, Edoardo Landi (Gruppo N), Carl Laszlo, John Latham, Le Corbusier, Julio Le Parc, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Fernand Léger, Maurice Lemaître, Alfred Lenica, Adolf Luther, Heinz Mack, Karel Malich, Frank Josef Malina, Mangelos, Edgardo Mannucci, Piero Manzoni, Gerhard Marcks, Adam Marczyński, Enzo Mari, Gino Marotta, Manfredo Massironi (Gruppo N), Lidia Masterkova, Almir Mavignier, Hans Mayer-Foreyt, David Medalla, Christian Megert, Teresa Mellerowicz-Gella, Albert Mertz, Mario Merz, Gustav Metzger, Harald Metzkes, Manuel Millares, Henry Moore, Marcello Morandini, François Morellet, Tony Morgan, Gabriele Mucchi, Otto Muehl, Bruno Munari, Frieder Nake, Paul Nash, Georg Nees, Ernst Neizvestny, Werner Nekes, Hermann Nitsch, Jerzy Nowosielski, Marek Oberländer, OHO, Roman Opalka, Meret Oppenheim, Nam June Paik, Mihovil Pansini, Eduardo Paolozzi, Ervin Pátkai, Henk Peeters, A.R. Penck, Vladimir Petek, Pablo Picasso, Ivan Picelj, Otto Piene, Pierluca, Yuri Pimenov, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Dmitri Plavinsky, Stanislav Podhrázský, Marko Pogačnik, Uli Pohl, Sigmar Polke, Giò Pomodoro, Viktor Popkov, Charlotte Posenenske, Enrico Prampolini, Heimrad Prem, Oskar Rabin, Andrea Raccagni, Carol Rama, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Martial Raysse, Antonio Recalcati, Alain Resnais, Gerhard Richter, Hans Richter, Bridget Riley, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Peter Roehr, Mikhail Roginsky, Mimmo Rotella, Dieter Roth, Georges Rouault, Roland Sabatier, Zorka Ságlová, Hans Salentin, Beatrice Sandomirskaya, Jean-Michel Sanejouand, Antonio Saura, Paolo Scheggi, Alfons Schilling, Niklaus Schilling, Tomas Schmit, Nicolas Schöffer, Eugen Schönebeck, Jan Schoonhoven, Emil Schumacher, Duro Seder, Vadim Sidur, Willi Sitte, Zdeněk Sklenář, Kjartan Slettemark, Ed Sommer, Jesús Rafael Soto, Karel Souček, Daniel Spoerri, Aleksandar Srnec, Klaus Staudt, Graham Sutherland, Zdeněk Sýkora, Alina Szapocznikow, Tamás Szentjóby, Takis, Paul Talman, Antoni Tàpies, Vladimir Tatlin, Hervé Télémaque, Gyarmathy Tihamér, Joe Tilson, Jean Tinguely, Endre Tót, Werner Tübke, Günther Uecker, Timm Ulrichs, Giuseppe Uncini, Jiří Valoch, Paul van Hoeydonck, Josip Vaništa, Grazia Varisco (Gruppo T), Victor Vasarely, Ben Vautier, Emilio Vedova, Vladimir Veisberg, Aleš Veselý, Nanda Vigo, Jacques Villeglé, Tibor Vilt, Daniela Vinopalová, Gerhard von Graevenitz, Vostell Vostell, Franz Erhard Walther, Peter Weiss, Ludwig Wilding, Stephen Willats, Gerd Winkler, Gil J. Wolman, Andrzej Wróblewski, Vladimir Yankilevsky, José Maria Yturralde, Yvaral, Rimma Zanevskaya, Herbert Zangs, Alexander Zhdanov, Yuri Zlotnikov und Gilberto Zorio.