East German art reflected "the repressive circumstances of its creation", The Economist reports. Exhibiting these historical works in a contemporary context casts them in a new, but no less meaningful, light.
'A new trend swept through East Germany’s underground art scene in the 1980s: window blinds. Called “Rollos” in German, these foldable, commercial blinds were an instant hit as an alternative to traditional canvases. They were cheap and widely available, an important consideration in a pinched socialist economy. They were visually interesting, and fun to paint on. And, crucially, they were perfect for evading censors.
Artists painted on Rollos, then unfolded them in spontaneous group shows in churches or homes. Then they stashed them away again before the authorities could intervene. After the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, the flimsy material remained popular, capturing, as it seemed to, the mood of upheaval and transience. Some artists hoarded blank Rollos, utilising them long after the German Democratic Republic (gdr) expired.
Rollo art is one of many bold creative experiments that undercut the gdr’s reputation as a desert of dour Socialist Realism. Long derided as the obsolete propaganda of a collapsed state, gdr-era art is now experiencing a revival.' ... Keep reading on The Economist