Lexander will open the first ever showcase of East German political posters in Los Angeles on January 20th, along with a selection of photographs depicting life and culture in the German Democratic Republic. In addition, a selection of Soviet political art and sculptures will be presented.
Los Angeles, CA, January 10, 2012 — From January 20th to April 13th, Lexander will be showcasing the work of such prolific artistic luminaries of the German Democratic Republic as Ludwig Winkler, Klaus Parche, Alexander Schiel, among others, for the first time in Los Angeles and the United States in general.
“In the West, there has not been as much interest in the political posters and art of the German Democratic Republic as there has been in the poster art of the Soviet Union and the Maoist phase of the People’s Republic of China,” stated Sabine Ulrike, a spokesperson for the gallery. “This is principally due to the fact that much of the political and cultural ephemera of the GDR, as well as art with Communist associations in general, were destroyed in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
Ulrike further clarified that the negative treatment of Communist ephemera and art in the GDR following the collapse of the Wall is in stark contrast to the widespread collection and preservation of such art and materials in post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine: “During the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite the period of civil unrest and turmoil, much of the political art and ephemera of the Soviet republics survived and has since been widely collected and celebrated the world over. Countless political posters and paintings from the 1920s on, exceptional works of Constructivism and Socialist Realism, are all mostly present and accounted for. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the art and ephemera of the GDR.”
While much was destroyed in the aftermath of the collapse of the GDR, Ulrike notes that precisely because of this, what art and ephemera have survived are exceptionally rare and will indubitably appreciate greatly in value: “Lexander has long been an advocate of the collection of Soviet and Maoist political art, years before it became popular to do so, when original poster paintings and first printings were still far undervalued and underappreciated. We are now at a point where interest in Soviet and Chinese art has begun reaching a kind of critical mass, and we feel it is time to begin awakening the art world to the appreciation of the exceptional and neglected work of East German political poster artists. This is the perfect moment in time for collectors to begin making an investment in this exceedingly rare section of political art.”
Unlike the vast numbers of original Soviet and Chinese political poster paintings and first printings available in art markets around the world, the quantity of original East German poster art remains so scarce that what little remains can generally only be found in museums and archives in Germany. “In Germany is much antipathy from museums and collections towards anything having to do with the German Democratic Republic. The rapid ascent of nostalgia for the GDR amongst people in the former East has only strengthened this antipathy,” Ulrike says. “In Western Europe and the United States, there is a greater appreciation for the preservation of art and ephemera from cultures and societies that have since vanished and continue to exist only in the pages of history books.”
The exhibition, which is titled “Before the Fall: Photographs & Political Posters of the German Democratic Republic + Soviet Political Art & Statuary,” opens on January 20, 2012 at Lexander in Downtown Los Angeles and runs until April 13.
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