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Ksenya Gurshtein
Skirball Cultural Center (Los Angeles, CA 90049-6833)
Conceptual Art in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s

My project is a book that explores the ways in which communities of artists working in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, driven by utopian aspirations, political ideals, and expanded definitions of artistic medium, established a significant conceptual art tradition within the region. Set against the background of the social and political history of the Cold War era, the completed book will offer in-depth analysis of five important but little known bodies of work created in Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Russia. Based on detailed analyses of these artists’ oeuvres, the book argues for the existence of a distinct Eastern European conceptualism defined by a number of shared characteristics, most notably an intense but ambivalent preoccupation with various forms of utopianism. Ultimately, the book situates Eastern European conceptualism within the larger history of global conceptualism, comparing and contrasting regional specificities with global trends.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Area Studies; Art History and Criticism; History, Criticism, and Theory of the Arts

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 5/31/2016