Nov 7 2011: Contemporary Yugoslav Sculpture (Hayward Gallery, 1970)

These images are taken from the catalogue of the Hayward Gallery’s 1970 exhibition Contemporary Yugoslav Sculpture,  which ran from April 30 to May 31 that year as a co-operative effort, organised by the Arts Council and the Commission for Cultural Relations in Belgrade. None of the artists were familiar before I saw their work in this catalogue, and while photographs don’t, inevitably, convey the impact of artworks (especially not sculpture) it’s obvious that there is some strong work here: it’s a shame, then, that it’s largely been erased from post-war art history (for the moment, at least) but perhaps this goes with the territory that produced these artworks, insofar as the national art history that contained these works in 1970 is now radically transformed, with the twenty or so artists seen here now, presumably, claimed or ignored by the constituent states of the former Yugoslavia rather than by Yugoslavia as the entity that framed them in 1970.

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