Suppression, Subversion and the Surreal

The Art of Czechoslovakian Resistance

Oldřich Kulhánek, Hommage à Matthias Grünnewald , 1990, Lithograph, The Dr. Eugene Rogolsky Collection, © 2019 Oldřich Kulhánek

Selections from the Dr. Eugene Rogolsky Collection

March 9-April 13, 2019 (T-F, 12-5pm, Sat, 12-4pm)
AND
April 30-May 10, 2019 (M-F, 12-5pm)

USC Fisher Museum of Art is pleased to present Suppression, Subversion and the Surreal: The Art of Czechoslovakian Resistance. This student-curated exhibition features a selection of prints and photographs from the Dr. Eugene Rogolsky Collection, which was gifted to Fisher in 2015. Suppression, Subversion and the Surreal explores the impact of oppressive governance on artistic expression through the works of five Czechoslovakian artists, creating art before, during, and after the Soviet occupation of what is presently known as the Czech Republic.

The prints and photographs included in this exhibition were produced during a period fraught with social and political tension. Despite state censorship and isolationist policies, these artists were determined to make art no matter what. Stripped of all privacy and creative freedom, they turned to the idiosyncratic and imaginary realm of the psyche, the only remaining inviolable space. Employing surreal observations, distinguished by disorienting or hallucinatory qualities, artists resisted government censorship to explore subjects relating to the human body, sexuality and eroticism, temporality, and art historical references.

The artists featured in Suppression, Subversion, and the Surreal: The Art of Czechoslovakian Resistance include printmakers Jiří Anderle and Oldřich Kulhánek, and photographers Pavel Baňka, Václav Chochola, and Jan Saudek. Their unique approaches to representing the human form offers a window into the psyche of these artists at a time when their avenues of personal expression were censored.

Download Press Release