what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Romania's Socialist Realist tradition

My readers will know that I find art galleries the last bastion of civilisation – private galleries often offering the chance to chat; and well-structured public galleries the opportunity to think. 

Bucharest’s National Gallery gave me on Saturday such an opportunity – with its (first ever) post 1989 exhibition of Romanian Socialist Realism - Art for the people 1948-1965 ? – which will run through to the spring….
….A nicely-presented Catalogue (of 300 pages) accompanies the exhibition and is, for the first time for the Gallery, bilingual and well-priced (13 euros).
I have today selected more than 70 of the reproductions for this flickr album 

Bulgaria and Romania may be neighbours but have rather different experiences of the communist period - with Bulgarian communism having a strong presence at the start of the century and a horrific killing period marking the Bulgarian takeover which started in September 1944. Romania, on the other hand, is reckoned to have had only about 1000 members of the communist party when the Red Army rolled in and the communist takeover took therefore some 3 years before they could officially take over...

The two countries also tend, very sadly, to pretend that the other doesn’t exist – whether in matters of culture or wine……the Danube certainly does seem to act as a bit of a geopolitical barrier (both physical and mental) but Bulgaria stole a bit of an edge on its larger neighbour last year with an  exhibition on the subject – building on one it held as far back as 2002 about the paintings of the 1980s which languish neglected and forgotten in the archives of Sofia City Gallery…(I have its superb catalogue)
And I was remiss in not writing about the autumn exhibition Afternoon of an Ideology in Sofia’s City Gallery about the communist period and painting during this period - which attracted this great blogpost from a young Bulgarian.

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