ART IN EUROPE 1945 – 1968: Facing the Future
ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
21. October 2016 - 29. January 2017


curators: Peter Weibel, Eckhart J. Gillen, in collaboration with: Daria Mille, Daniel Bulatov

coordinator: Judith Bihr 

This exhibition shows 180 works by 150 artists from across Europe and the Soviet Union who, in the period between 1945 and 1968, responded in their art to the rupture of civilization in Germany
after 1933 and to the Second World War.

The commemoration of the common struggle against and victory over National Socialist Germany and its ally Italy, which joined the Allies after liberating itself, comprises the project’s background. These shared values are reflected in the works of art— in spite of the Cold War and its antagonisms. For many artists, philosophers, and writers humanism had failed, which gave rise to Existentialism and ushered in the Theater of the Absurd. This exhibition not only brings together the neo-avant-gardes from East and West for the first time, but also proves, that all new forms of art produced after the war developed primarily or in parallel in Europe: from media art (photography, film, TV, video, computer) to concept art, from Action to sound art in a genealogical form.

The exhibition has six sections, a timeline 1945–1968, including photographs, posters and other materials providing a contextual framework for the artworks.