Arseholes or artists? How East German art is becoming a new collecting frontier

Catherine Hickley and Anna Somers Cocks, in: The Art Newspaper, 29.1.2020:

In his remarks at the opening of the Utopie und Untergang exhibition last year, the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “From the western German side, we have perhaps too often made the mistake in the past of looking at the art of East Germany from a political perspective only.”
That is easy to say now that 30 years have elapsed and the political heat has gone out of the matter. The tougher question is why the art of the GDR was subject to censure for so long when its literature was not, a point raised by Ulrich Greiner of Die Zeit newspaper in 1994 during the row over the Neue Nationalgalerie’s showing of GDR art. A lot can be explained by the intolerant academicism of the contemporary art movement in the West—“This is art, while this is not art”—combined with its sense of moral superiority when faced with party collaborators, which conveniently forgets the collaboration demanded by the art market in the West. weiterlesen…

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