PRESS RELEASE 2009-10-09

Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe

“Gender Check” is the first comprehensive exhibition featuring art from Eastern Europe since the 1960s based on the theme of gender roles. 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the curator Bojana Pejić, along with a team of experts from 24 different countries, has put together a selection of over 400 works including paintings, sculpture, installations, photography, posters, films and videos. With over 200 artists, the exhibition paints an exceptionally diverse picture of a chapter in art history that until recently had been largely unknown and that could also act as an important addition to contemporary gender discourse.



Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe

“Gender Check” follows the changes in the representation of male and female role models in art – especially as they develop under different socio-political conditions. The exhibition, initiated and supported by the ERSTE Foundation, shows the interrelationship between art and history following both a chronological and thematic approach:

Up into the 1960s, heroic male and female workers were the dominant figures in the socialist realist tradition of art. The intended reality-transforming program of a “sexless society” propagated by the state was met with irony and unmasked by unofficial art at the time. Following the period of collective state utopian aesthetics, different individual and more open tendencies could be found on a local level – periodically provoking a hostile response – that created independent spaces for nonconformist art. Beginning in the 1970s, ideals of femininity and masculinity were reexamined beyond the propagandist clichés of the past: Self-portraits and representations of the body and subjectivity began to hint at a newfound self-confidence also reflected in openly displayed sexuality that called heterosexual standards and heroic ideals of masculinity into question. Even many of the abstract pieces worked with anthropomorphic forms and the relationship between the sexes within society.


Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
Museumsplatz 1| 1070 Wien

13/11/2009 – 14/2/2010

Press Preview
November 12, 10:00 a.m.

November 12, 19:00 p.m.

November 13 and 14, 2009

Bojana Pejić

Press Contact
Eva Engelberger
Barbara Hammerschmied
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