Cold Revolution. Central and Eastern European Societies in Times of Socialist Realism, 1948–1959 is the outcome of an international conference organized by the Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, in January 2020, and an exhibition project (planned for May 25 – September 19, 2021). Both the conference and the show deal with Socialist Realism, a sensitive and problematic period in contemporary art history.
The publication inquires about the relationship between the visual culture of the 1950s and the radical social revolution that took place in Central and Eastern Europe in the ‘cold’ climate of growing international tensions and the strengthening of communist dictatorships.
Covering and linking together a wide range of areas of study—art history, but also social, political, and cultural history—thirty contributors explore deeply the 1950s’ social transformations, presenting intersectional essays on cultural and art history, short key study texts and profound analysis examples from the fields of painting, architecture and urban planning, design, photography, film and graphic design, representative of different countries, such as Poland, GDR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.