This Fall’s Art in the Barn event at browngrotta arts.
The exhibition will feature nearly 50 artists and will highlight work from 20 countries in Eastern and Western Europe, 17 countries in NATO and the three current applicants.
Political instability can bring about unexpected and engaging art. It can influence an individual artist’s career for a lifetime. The current upheaval in the Ukraine and the security concerns of neighboring European countries suggests echoes experiences of artists exhibited by browngrotta arts who have lived in, fled, or emigrated from repressive regimes. It weighs, too, on the minds of those working in the surrounding nations. German artist, Heidrun Schimmel says that living in a country, united and secure in NATO since 1989, “its now hard for us to learn: … everything is hanging by a thread…”
The nearly 50 artists in the exhibition reflect diverse perspectives and experiences. Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related Countries will include art created under occupation, in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, art by those who left Hungary, Romania and Spain while occupied, and art by other artists who left Russia in later years. Gyöngy Laky’s family, for example, escaped from Soviet-occupied Hungary after World War II — to Austria, then America, experiences that are reflected in her politically themed works. Adela Akers’ family left Franco’s Spain, first for Cuba, then to the US. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Ritzi Jacobi’s expressive work in tapestry, abstract by nature, allowed her to circumvent the Romanian government’s preference for academic, figurative art which supported communist ideology.
Other artists in the exhibition from Eastern Europe, including Jolanta Owidzka, Zofia Butrymowicz, Anna Urbanowicz-Krowacka, and Krystyna Wojtyna-Drouet of Poland and Luba Krejci and Jan Hladik of Czechoslovakia, were introduced to US audiences in the 1960s through 1980s by Chicago gallerists Jacques and Anne Baruch who spirited their work out of countries under oppressive regimes. On August 20, 1968, for example, the Baruchs left Prague after meeting with artists, just five hours before Soviet tanks rolled into the city and brutally ended a brief period of democratic reforms. Allies for Art: Work from NATO-related Countries will also include works created by artists currently working in Europe, including Gudrun Pagter of Denmark, Åse Ljones of Norway, Włodmierz Cygan of Poland and, artists new to browngrotta arts, including Esmé Hofman of the Netherlands, Anneke Klein of Denmark, and Baiba Osite of Latvia.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog, which will include an essay by Kate Bonansinga, Director, School of Art, College of Design, Architec- ture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.
276 Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897
Saturday, October 8th: 11AM to 6PM [Opening & Artist Reception](40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, October 9th: 11AM to 6 PM (40 visitors/ hour)
Monday, October 10th – Saturday, October 15th: 10AM to 5PM (40 visitors/ hour)
Sunday, October 16th: 11AM to 6PM [Final Day] (40 visitors/ hour)
Image: Gudrun Pagter Tapestries, photographed by Tom Grotta