Art in Europe 1945–1968. Facing the Future

Bookcover with detail from Fernand Leger's painting »Constructeurs« (1951)
Type of publication
Exhibition catalog
Author / Editor
Eckhart Gillen, Peter Weibel (eds.)
Publishing house, place
Lannoo, Tielt

The Second World War also shattered the art world. Facing the Future: Art in Europe 1945-1968 shows how such artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Ossip Zadkine, Henry Moore, Renato Guttuso, Fernand Léger, Yves Klein, Gerhard Richter and Lucian Freud worked through the trauma of 1940-1945 and the Cold War and started to explore new  directions in art.

This reference work includes some 400 works by 150 artists and for the first time brings together post-war art from both Western and Eastern Europe. In  enlightening texts, experts reveal the various evolutions and movements, from the mourning of the first postwar years to British Pop Art and political art leading up to the revolutions of the late 1960s.

With texts by Sven Beckstette, Kurt De Boodt, Marie-Ange Brayer, Daniel Bulatov, Alexandra Danilova, Paul Dujardin, Karl Eimermacher, Sergey Fofanov, Eckhart Gillen, Daria Mille, Margit Rosen, Anda Rottenberg, Eduardo Subirats, Peter Weibel, Sarah Wilson, Ekaterina Yurevna Andreeva and Slavoj Žižek


Eckhart Gillen, Peter Weibel Europe after the Rain. The Dialectic of Trauma and Revival in European Art  from 1945 to 1968  
Peter Weibel Art in Europe after 1945  
Eduardo Subirats Trauma & Träume. “Cours, camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi”  
Kurt De Boodt, Paul Dujardin The Assaulton the Art Institute. From Occupation to Occupation at the Centre for Fine Arts  

I. Prologue: The End of War

Eckhart Gillen We Were Never More Free. Testimonies to the War in the Art of the 1940s  
Sarah Wilson Writing the Disaster. Trauma and Reconstruction in Post-war France  

II. Mourning and Memory

Eckhart Gillen Pictures of Pain  
Karl Eimermacher Vadim Sidur  
Daniel Bulatov Ecce Homo. Reflecting the Experience of War through Christian Iconography in European Art of the 1940s and 1950s  
Anda Rottenberg Negotiating Freedom. Polish Art 1944–1970  

III. Cold War

Sergey Fofanov Picasso. Hard to be a God  
Ekaterina Yurevna Andreeva The War, the Cold War, Soviet Ideology and Nonconformism  
Eckhart Gillen The Cold War of the Arts I. Monument to the Unknown  Political Prisoner and Memorial to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp  
Eckhart Gillen The Cold War of the Arts II. Realismo versus Socialist Realism  
Sven Beckstette 1958. The Fight against Nuclear Death in the Visual Arts in East and West Germany  
Eduardo Subirats Palomares by Jorge Castillo  

IV. New Realisms

Alexandra Danilova

In the Gap between Art and Life. Pop Sensibility in European Art. 1950-1960s


V. New Idealisms

Daria Mille Zone ZERO. A European Network of Friends  
Margit Rosen New Tendencies  
Daria Mille The Art of Exact Ideas. Impulses from Science in Unofficial Russian  Art  
Margit Rosen

The Secret Revolution. Cybernetics and the Visual Arts


VI. 1968: The End of Utopia?

Marie-Ange Brayer Architectural Utopias.1950-1968. The Destruction of the Object  
Eckhart Gillen An End to Reality. Situations and Interventions beyond Art  
Eckhart Gillen Marcel Broodthaers and Harald Metzkes. On the Futility of the Aesthetic Improvement of the World  
Slavoj Žižek What Does Europe Want? Epilogue  


496 p., illustr., 29 x 26 cm, hardcover
Production / Corporation / Exhibition
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe; BOZAR, Brussels; Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

Europäische Union (Programm Creative Europe), Königreich Belgien, Flandern, Außenministerium der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg Stiftung