'Present Eye Looking to the Past' Exhibition, Q Contemporary Budapest

  • 9 Apr 2024 5:14 AM
'Present Eye Looking to the Past' Exhibition, Q Contemporary Budapest
Open until 29 June. The current Q Contemporary exhibition Present eye looking to the past is the second since the opening of the museum in 2021 to present a thematic selection from the expanding private collection of QC owner Queenie Rosita Law.

The exhibition looks back to the years of the Cold War (1947–1991), an extraordinary period in European art history: with no attempt to be exhaustive, it offers a glimpse into the oeuvre of artists whose creative approach was shaped by the divergent cultural influences and artistic trends of a divided Europe.

The rivalry between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, the superpowers that emerged as victors from the Second World War in 1945, divided Europe into two political blocs. In as early as 1946, Winston Churchill referred in his Fulton speech to an “iron curtain” that had descended across Europe, separating the competing political systems of East and West and establishing a bipolar world order.

Among the former members of the Eastern bloc, Yugoslavia is described in the literature as pursuing a “third way”: after the split between Josip Broz Tito and Stalin in 1948, the country swapped its Soviet-steered cultural model for a depoliticised, modernist worldview.

Even this brief insight into the region’s history clearly illustrates the divergent trends that influenced the development of art in those European countries subject to Soviet ideology and those independent of it, as well as in Yugoslavia, which was more open to the Western forces of liberal capitalism.

Works by artists who were subject to very different influences are presented in parallel but on different levels in the Q Contemporary exhibition spaces.

On the first floor of the gallery, visitors will encounter works by artists living in the former Eastern bloc countries of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, while on the second floor they will find works by artists from the countries of the former Yugoslavia that followed a “third way”.

Click here to virtually visit Q Contemporary exhibition spaces

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