Nikolas Drosos

Theme: Travel and Migration

Theme: Travel and Migration

This paper focuses on the ambivalent reception of Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros in postwar Eastern Europe. Against the instability of aesthetics and politics in 1950s Eastern Europe before and after de-Stalinization of 1956, their work was variably seen as too modernist or too realist, too political or not political enough. Through a study of cases such as Rivera’s Gloriosa Victoria (1954) or Siqueiros’ failed commission for the murals of the new Warsaw stadium, this paper argues that Rivera and Siqueiros acted as catalysts for many of the artistic processes of de-Stalinization in Easter Europe: their unconventional, modernist brand of realism challenged the official dogma of socialist realism, while at the same time offering a model for local artists who sought to break free from it.

Nikolas Drosos is an art historian specializing in art and architecture from postwar Eastern Europe in its global context. He holds a PhD from the Graduate Center, City University of New York and has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute.

From the conference Multiple Modernisms. A Symposium on Globalism in Postwar Art.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 2017