Figuration/Abstraction: Strategies for Public Sculpture in Europe 1945-1968, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Strategies for Public Sculpture in Europe 1945-1968, 1st Edition

Edited by Charlotte Benton


356 pages

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The notion that the practice of abstraction was confined to Western Europe while a stereotyped form of figuration defined the art of the Eastern bloc continues to dominate art historical accounts of public sculpture of the post-war period. This book offers a number of alternative readings, and demonstrates strategic uses of figuration and abstraction across East and West. Encompassing sites of memory (including war memorials and Holocaust memorials), state, civic and corporate sculpture, as well as temporary and unexecuted projects, the book shows that persuasive advocates of figuration were to be found in the West, while in the East imaginative experiments in abstraction were proposed in the name of Social Realism. Presenting fresh insights into sculptural practice in the period between 1945 and 1968, this book brings together a wide range of authors, some of whom have never before been published in English. Their essays are complemented by extracts from documentary texts, which give a flavour of contemporary debates, and a biographical section includes entries on many sculptors who will be unfamiliar to an English-speaking audience.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Charlotte Benton; Soviet war memorials in Eastern Europe, 1945-74, Reuben Fowkes; Czechoslovak public sculpture and its context: from 1945 to the 'Realizations' exhibition, 1961, Marie KlimeÅ¡ová; Public sculpture in Poland in the 1960s: context and practice, Hanna Kotkowska-Bareja; The metamorphosis of Liberty: the monument to Hungarian liberation, Géza Boros; Modernity and tradition: public sculpture by Gerhard Marcks, 1949-67, Daniel Koep; The advantages of abstract art: monoliths and erratic boulders as monuments and (public) sculptures, Christian Furhmeister; National division as a formal problem in West German public sculpture: memorials to German unity in Münster and Berlin, Godehard Janzing; Figuration and abstraction in Berlin in the 1960s: two modi in East-West art and art politics, Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper; Invisible topographies and deafening silences: looking for the Memorial to the Victims of the Deportation in Paris, Shelley Hornstein; Oskar Hansen, Henry Moore and the Auschwitz Memorial debates in Poland, 1958-59, Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius; The return to nature: Finnish monumental sculpture in the 1950s and 1960s, Liisa Lindgren; Continuity: Max Bill's public sculpture and the representation of money, Philip Ursprung; Documents; Biographies; Select bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Subject/Object: New Studies in Sculpture

Subject/Object: New Studies in Sculpture

We have become familiar with the notion that sculpture has moved into the 'expanded field', but this field has remained remarkably faithful to defining sculpture on its own terms. Sculpture can be distinct, but it is rarely autonomous. For too long studied apart, within a monographic or survey format, sculpture demands to be reintegrated with the other histories of which it is a part. In the interests of representing recent moves in this direction, this series provides a forum for the publication and stimulation of new research examining sculpture's relationship with the world around it, with other disciplines and with other material contexts.

The Henry Moore Institute, a centre for the study of sculpture, has developed this series. A part of the Henry Moore Foundation, the Institute is an international research hub located in the vibrant city of Leeds where Henry Moore began his training as a sculptor.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / European
ART / Sculpture & Installation