AFTER THE FALL
18 Artists from East and Central Europe
September 19, 2010 through July 24, 2011
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
1701 Main Street, Peekskill, NY 10566
Exhibtion opening: Sunday, September 19th, 2010, 3 pm, followed by a round table discussion with the participating artists at 5 pm.
Some of the most impressive new art today, especially in painting and video, is coming from Eastern and Central Europes former communist countries. After the Fall attempts to understand how this art differs from art in the West and, more importantly, why artists from this region are making such compelling work at this moment.
Countries included in After the Fall are Croatia (Marin Majic, Elvis Krstulovic, Goran Skofic, Josip Tiric, Zlatan Vehabovic), Czech Republic (Josef Bolf, Daniel Pitin), Hungary (Zsolt Bodoni, Alexander Tinei, Attila Szucs), Latvia (Janis Avotins), Romania (Leonardo Silaghi, Marius Bercea, Adrian Ghenie, Ion Grigorescu, Serban Savu, Ciprian Muresan) and Slovenia (Matija Brumen). This is a heterogeneous political, social, cultural and religious region, each having evolved differently after the fall of their proletarian governmental systems.
The young artists in the exhibition were born under Communist rule, but their art schooling occurred following Communism. They live in a society that has struggled to redefine itself. While many artist communities tend to migrate to other countries, they choose to continue to remain in their native lands. They feel a responsibility to the small community of the older generation of artists who worked in isolation from the West during a time of repression. They are not afraid that their work will reflect their genes and landscape – they welcome it. Yet, they are the internet generation and they want to compete on the international stage. It is this conflation of imperatives that makes this work so compelling.
What informs these artists works is a deep respect for their heritage. Much of the work has a dark brooding quality but the narrative remains open and not pessimistic. Many are reflective of life lost or in transition; buildings in semi-ruin, beautiful land being misused. The palette, the memory, the sense of tone, is not anything you see in America or Western Europe.
During After the Fall, Leonardo Silaghi, a 23 years-old from Cluj, Romania, and Daniel Pitin from Prague, Czech Republic, will each spend 3 months in Peekskill as artists-in-residence creating new bodies of work, followed by solo exhibitions at HVCCA. Goran Skofic, of Croatia, will have a 3 month winter residency, in partnership with HVCCA and State University of New York New Paltz, also followed by a solo exhibition at HVCCA. No artists in the residency program have had previous solo exhibitions in the US. Finally After the Fall will conclude with a one-person exhibit by Geta Bratescu, an 85 year-old Romanian treasure who has never exhibited in US either.
For After the Fall, founders of HVCCA, Marc and Livia Straus, visited over 1,500 artists studios, galleries, art schools, alternative spaces, and museums. Yet it was not possible to see every city and every artist. In the end painting predominates in the exhibition because that is a large part of what is happening now in this part of the world. Rather than showing a broad survey, HVCCA restricted itself to 18 artists who each have at least two major works featured in the show.
HVCCA, founded in 2004, focuses on contextualizing current trends in contemporary art. Its exhibits have been highly regarded with visitors coming from around the globe. HVCCA is also focused on the education of its local and regional community and participation in the betterment of Peekskill, a lower economic multicultural riverfront town with a large presence of artists.
After the Fall will travel to the Knoxville Museum of Art.
Organized by: Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art