This summer the museum focuses on artists from Eastern European countries that came to be governed by the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Due to the political situation, it was practically impossible for these artists to make contact with artists in the West, which resulted in them becoming isolated from the artistic developments that occurred there.
The exhibition Living Art; On the Edge of Europe features the work of various forerunners of developments in Eastern European art from the 1960s and 70s. At that time, they did not receive the artistic recognition they deserved, but now they are ready to regain that position.
Exhibition 'Living art', 2006
Parallels between east and west
In the 1960s and 70s, various artists made progressive works that proved to bear remarkable similarities to expressions of art that were emerging in the West at the time, such as performances, conceptual art and land art. But while these practices were seen as new developments within an existing artistic climate in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe they were labelled as unofficial art forms.
Although these practices were seen as new developments within an existing artistic climate in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe they were labelled as unofficial art forms. Artists did not receive the recognition they deserved and had to live and work with restrictions that varied from country to country. Reason for the museum to help them regain their position. Living Art; On the Edge of Europe features the work of such avant-gardists: Attila Csernik, Katalin Ladik, Slavko Matković and Bálint Szombathy of The Bosch + Bosch group from Serbia and Montenegro, Stano Filko from Slovakia, Marijan Jevšovar, Julije Knifer, Ivan Kožarić, Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos and Josip Vaništa of The Gorgona group from Croatia, Edward Krasiński from Poland, Naško Križnar, Milenko Matanović, David Nez, Marko Pogačnik and Andraž Šalamun of The OHO group from Slovenia and Goran Trbuljak from Croatia.
The margins in the centre
It is the museum’s task to provide the ideas and creativity that occur in the margins a place in the centre, according to Van Straaten. The relevance of Eastern European art from the 1960s and 70s is presented in the form of reconstructions of performances, installations, publications, films, photographs and site-specific works. Photographs of the artworks in their original context provide the starting point for the design of the exhibition.