In his screen-prints of the 1970s, South African artist Gavin Jantjes sought to convey the urgency and interconnectedness of global Black liberation movements. As an art student in exile in Hamburg, Jantjes dedicated his early practice to raising awareness of the brutal injustices of the apartheid system in South Africa, engaging with anti-colonial struggles waged by African and African-Diasporic populations around the world. In this essay, art historian Allison K. Young looks at a selection of early abstracted, dynamic compositions which evidence his belief in the connection between art and resistance, and his commitment to solidarity between localized struggles across the diaspora.
In this essay, Māra Traumane guides readers through the diverse, interdisciplinary practice of the Riga-based collective Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings (NSRD), which operated from the end of the 1970s until 1989. NSRD was involved in the avant-garde music scene as well as in architecture, and their activities ranged from concerts and the production of record albums to performances, writing, and video art.
Historian Sumit Mandal initiates a comparison of the architecture, surrounding landscapes, and histories of two keramat, or Muslim gravesite-shrines—Habib Noh in Singapore and Tuan Guru in Cape Town.
What is common and what differs between Georgian artist collectives of the late 1980s and those of today are among the questions explored by curator and researcher Vija Skangale in this text.
The late Zimbabwean painter, Helen Lieros occupied herself with creating solidarity and going against the status quo. Tandazani Dhlakama recalls her trajectory and broad imprint as a member of The Circle, and founding member of Gallery Delta and Gallery Magazine.
Zenta Logina (1908–1983) was a Latvian artist at work during the Soviet occupation. Her paintings, reliefs, and sculptural objects developed in a singular manner, as she broke away from the accepted framework of visual arts codified by the regime and crossed into the realm of contemporary art as we define it today.
Art historian Inesa Brašiškė highlights the ideas behind the work of Lithuanian-American artist and architect Aleksandra Kasuba (1923–2019), most notably her countering of the rigid geometry of architecture through the use of soft materials and curved shapes, and her emphasis on the fundamental connection between the built environment and the formation of subject.
In this essay, cultural historian Linda Kaljundi revisits Estonian art of the late Soviet period. Looking at work from the 1970s and 1980s from an ecocritical and environmental perspective, she argues for the necessity of taking a comparative, transnational approach in order to reach beyond the Western centric understanding of environmental art histories.
How do you historicize the events of the dehistoricized? From its inception in 1948, the apartheid regime implemented a system of institutionalized racial segregation against the nonwhite citizens of South Africa. In recent years, a counter narrative has emerged of a group of artists and activists who viewed “culture as a weapon of struggle” against the oppressive policies of the apartheid regime.
This essay brings together Baltic artists Anu Põder and Virgilijus Šonta, considering their mutual interest in human corporeality and non-heteronormative visuality to explore how their artwork reflects a disregard of official concerns of the late Soviet era, and sheds light on the blind spots of the homogenizing use of Western theoretical frameworks.
Disruption and Displacement: Lotty Rosenfeld’s Una milla de cruces sobre el pavimento and Its Afterlife in Pinochet’s Chile
In December 1979, walking down a long road in eastern Santiago de Chile, Rosenfeld bisected the center-line markings through the perpendicular application of broad white tape. Executed at the height of a dictatorship, her defiant gesture generated a powerful new social sign: a path of crosses.
Temptations to pronounce a politics of ecology and technology are incisively moderated in this essay on Tetsumi Kudo’s multimedia installation, presented in MoMA’s Gallery 420 through the fall, prompting a broader critical commentary on the negotiations of cultural typification and belonging in the artist’s oeuvre.