“New Histories of Modern Art: The East European Avant Gardes”, CEERES Conference, February 4-6

Mark your calendars for CEERES’ upcoming conference, “New Histories of Modern Art: The East European Avant Gardes” to be held February 4-6 at The Franke Institute for the Humanities at the Regenstein Library (1100 E. 57th Street).

The keynote address, “Another History of Modern Art,” will be delivered by Steven Mansbach (University of Maryland) on Thursday, February 4 following the opening remarks, 5pm-7pm.

From the conference website (http://ceeres.uchicago.edu/avantgardes/):

In light of recent scholarship and new critical methodologies that have invigorated the study of modern and contemporary art from Eastern Europe, the organizers think it timely to reconsider both the classical avant-garde period and the subsequent neo-avant-gardes. Rather than rehearse scholarship from the 1970s through the 1990s that first addressed the interwar period in Eastern Europe, it is important to question the historiographical assumptions (and the scholarship based on them) in light both of the second avant-gardes from the post-1989 era and of the emergent approaches of visual studies that have reconfigured the practice of art history in the museum and the university. Thus we are organizing this symposium to highlight new perspectives and stimulate lively debate. Toward this objective, the program accommodates both informal discussion and a formal set of presentations. The topics suggested and those invited to address them are intended to prompt new thinking and promote vibrant exchange rather than to shore up established positions or consolidate accepted views. Bringing together younger and senior scholars and museum and academic professionals, as well as art and architectural historians from Europe and the United States, to address the varied avant-gardes in and from Eastern Europe will afford a breadth of viewpoints and an exchange of perspectives that can lead to genuinely new histories of modern art.

The conference will be organized in four sessions with adequate time for discussion in each. On the first day, both the morning and afternoon sessions will treat the general theme of “New States, New Realities, New Art” by looking at Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Western Balkans, and the Baltic States. A broad range of visual media will be covered, including architecture and planning, painting, sculpture, photography, the graphic arts, and visual poetry. The second day begins with a session devoted to “New Avant-Gardes, New Modernisms, New Arts?”, which will treat the neo-avant-gardes that emerged in the wake (or in anticipation) of the political events ca. 1989-91 in Southeastern Europe, Poland, and Russia. Many of these developments reprised, adapted, or explicitly rejected the styles, ideologies, and social implications of the earlier avant-garde movements from various regions in Central and Eastern Europe. The afternoon session will be devoted to a round-table discussion that will range over and attempt to rethink the entire history of the twentieth-century avant-gardes from the region as a whole.

*All sessions are free and open to the public, and will be held at The Franke Institute for the Humanities at the Regenstein Library; 1100 E. 57th St.; Chicago, IL

The agenda can be found here: http://ceeres.uchicago.edu/avantgardes/avant_agenda.html

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