Piotr Piotrowski chronicles the complex relation between avant-garde art practice and politics in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, East Germany, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria from the End of the Second World War to the collapse of Communism in 1989. The book is the first comprehensive study of the artistic culture of the region that once was located between the Iron Curtain and the Soviet Union, an area that fell under the Soviet regime due to the agreement of Yalta, which was signed by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin in February 1945.
Piotr Piotrowski begins with an analysis of Surrealism in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Hungary. He examines the development of different Modernist art strategies within the context of a thawing Stalinism. The book’s epilogue examines the impact of the end of Communism on art that both witnessed and responded to the system’s demise.
Illustrated with 224 images of artworks from across the region, this book offers new critical insights into the lives of artists, the politics of art and culture, and the character of the avant-garde art practises. In the Shadow of Yalta also examines several common threads that bind the post-war narrative of Eastern European art: the erosion of ideology, the rise of consumerism, and the emergence of political pragmatism.