A Symposium on Globalism in Postwar Art
The conference Multiple Modernisms. A Symposium on Globalism in Postwar Art welcomes academics and curators to a programme of new research in the field of global postwar art. Following the demarcation line of 1945, the era forms a particularly relevant historical horizon for our contemporary world and its global order. The postwar era is the time when the world appears to be modernized and globalized across many cultural, social and political spheres, a development reflected in the work of artists and other actors in the art world in the era roughly framed by the end of World War II and 1968.
In recent years the well-known arthistorical narratives associated with a few -isms ruling the world from Paris and New York have been challenged. A new orientation in art-historical research has ushered in a paradigm shift in the objects and practices of art history. The geography of centres and peripheries has been shaken, and the art-historical dictionary has been expanded with new entries, not just for specialized audiences but also highlighted in the exhibition programmes of leading institutions.
It is this thriving field of research reassessing the history of modernism(s) beyond canonical discourses that will be explored through the two days of presentations and critical discussions underpinning this conference. Founded in 1958 – in the midst of the postwar era – Louisiana forms an especially relevant backdrop for this symposium. From the outset the ambition for the museum was to move beyond the simple showcasing of artworks to encompass a much broader cultural sphere of operation.
The research project Multiple Modernities (2015-18) investigates the art of the 1950s-70s from a cultural history perspective with an emphasis on more recent methodological and theoretical positions. The project has involved several exhibition projects at Louisiana devoted to the art of this period, including Yayoi Kusama – In Infinity (2015), the Op Art show Eye Attack (2016), an exhibition of the Danish experimental artist Poul Gernes (2016) – as well as a three-year postdoctoral research project in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen conducted by Kristian Handberg, who has been the main driving force behind this conference.
We are pleased to present a programme of leading scholars as well as innovative emerging researchers. A publicly issued open call earlier this year resulted in intense interest, and we would like to thank everyone for submitting their work and helping to diversify our understanding of art history.