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The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain Premieres at the Wende Museum in California

November 8, 2019

image © Jozsef Rosta

The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain is an art exhibition premiering at the Wende Museum in Los Angeles this November as Wunderbar Together celebrates the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the years prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, East European writers and painters facing censorship often turned to ancient mythology as a way of expressing their discontent with communist rule. The Medea Insurrection features works interpreting mythological figures like Medea, Cassandra, or Penthesilea, who were influential in shaping contemporary images of women.

The exhibit, which was first conceptualized and displayed in Dresden, Germany, features work by Monika Andres, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sibylle Bergemann, Geta Brătescu, Christa Jeitner, Katalin Ladik, Natalia LL, Dora Maurer, Gundula Schulze Eldowy, Erika Stürmer-Alex, Alina Szapocznikow, and Karla Woisnitza, among others.

These artists provoked, protested, experimented under the radar of accepted media, and expressed themselves and their anger, while at the same time rejecting socialist role models. In doing so, they were typically forced to take on greater risks than their male counterparts. To this day, many of the works shown in The Medea Insurrection: Radical artists behind the Iron Curtain are still unknown to mainstream audiences. The deficit in representation between male and female artists has become even more pronounced this year, as more and more people are seeking out art from this time period as they recognize the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Medea seeks to correct this imbalance.

This groundbreaking exhibit rebels against the forgetfulness of contemporary art historians and the marginalization of women’s voices in art. Rather than engaging in self-victimization or bitterness, this special exhibition celebrates strength, self-confidence, resilience, and, above all, artistic quality.

The exhibition will premiere on November 10 and remain on display at the Wende Museum until April 5. Find more information on the Wende Museum website.

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