Curator Xenia Benivolski looks at the work of Zanis Waldheims (1909–1993), a self-taught Latvian artist who lived in exile in Canada and spent most of his life on a series of about six hundred geometrically abstract drawings. Benivolski considers the thinking behind Waldheims’s work and its meaning in terms of exile, diaspora, and art historical…
Like the subject of his world-renowned installation The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment (1981–88), artist Ilya Kabakov is no longer with us. While this reality was inevitable, pronouncing it still remains difficult. The giant hole in the ceiling of this installation—left by its protagonist, who abandoned his isolated Soviet existence by catapulting…
In this text, curator and writer Nina Mdivani revisits the lives and work of Tamar Abakelia (1905–1953) and her student Natela Iankoshvili (1918–2007). She emphasizes how these two Georgian women artists navigated between undertaking state commissions and finding windows of opportunity to oppose the regime and, in the process, creates a genealogy of Georgian artistic…
On the evening of October 12, 2022, post presents hosted presentations and conversations with artists, scholars, and curators about the artistic responses to the war in Ukraine, looking at the period between the Maidan Revolution, which was followed by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and occupation of Donbas in 2014, and the full-scale Russian invasion launched on February 24, 2022. This conversation is a continuation of the presentations and conversations commenced that evening.
In this text, Dorota Jagoda Michalska writes about Erna Rosenstein (1913–2004), a Jewish Polish postwar artist. Michalska opens up a transnational perspective, inviting us to look at the artist’s oeuvre through the lens of global surrealisms, connecting her articulations of Holocaust trauma with the work of artists who have dealt with slavery, genocide, exile, and colonial dispossession.
Builders of Utopia: Avant-Garde Fashion and its Queer Undertones in Tbilisi from the 1990s to the Present
Writer Gyula Muskovics looks at the Georgian avant-garde fashion scene from the postcommunist transition, which began in 1991, to the present. Based on interviews and rarely seen archival footage, he gives insight into Tbilisi’s avant-garde fashion circles in the 1990s with a special focus on the Avant-garde Fashion Assembly.
In this essay, Veronika Molnar writes about Hungarian Roma artist Omara, whose diverse practice encompassing painting, intervention, and media appearances challenged the status quo of Hungary’s homogenous contemporary art scene from the early 2000s until the artist’s death in 2020.
This text considers the work of Vera Pagava, a Georgian artist who lived in exile in Paris, as an amalgamation of modernist and Georgian art historic references. Following Pagava’s life story from Tbilisi, where she was born, to Germany and later Paris, where she settled with her family in 1923 and lived until her death in 1988, this essay introduces her work in relation to that of various other Georgian artists, simultaneously tracing her path from figuration to abstraction.
The 2022 C-MAP seminar series, Transversal Orientations Part II, was held on Zoom across four panels on May 25 and 26, 2022. This text by Irmgard Emmelhainz, independent translator, writer and researcher, is the second written response to the seminar.
Breaking Down Binaries, Feeling Contradictions: Thoughts on Some of the Conundrums Concerning Art’s Ecologies
Sarah Lookofsky, former Associate Director of the International program at MoMA, rumintes on the presentations and conversations held on Day One of the 2022 C-MAP seminar. Lookofsky calls out the contradictions of art’s embeddedness with various ecologies, rehearsing her own writing-thinking as produced by a “dumpy dialectic.”
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.
This essay highlights the reconstruction of memory through material culture in Ukrainian museums since the 1990s. Within the context of the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts, the Ivan Honchar Museum, and the Maidan Museum—all of which are in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital—cultural workers have responded to politically salient events, including Ukrainian independence, the Maidan revolution, and the current war.