The richly illustrated publication presents artists who were repeatedly accused of "formalism" in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) of the 1950s and 1960s. The presentation of this early artistic opposition impressively shows how purposefully and self-confidently painters and graphic artists clung to the autonomy of art even in phases of rigid cultural policies, and successively contributed to expanding the artistic corset by persistently testing out and boldly overstepping narrow boundaries. The presentation of representative pictures by some thirty artists and the examination of the genesis of exemplary works facilitate a differentiated view of the art of the early GDR, in which it is not so much art policy, but instead the artwork itself that is the subject of interrogation and assessment.
Multifacetted presentation of artists of the early GDR, whose work defies the common cliché of uniform state art
Unique visual material, with some works published for the first time
Published in the anniversary year: thirty years of reunification