About the exhibition

The Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City was a hotbed of activity after 1945 and was the name of the exiled Latvian artist and writers collective active there at the time. From the 1950s to the 1970s, the new identity of American art was shaped, in large part, by émigré and refugee artists displaced during and just after World War II. Taking the story of the Hell’s Kitchen group as a point of departure, the exhibition examines visual and political expression of twelve international artists and collectives who address dislocation resulting from the Holocaust and Soviet occupation. 

 

The project pursues these stories through the presentation of archival material, historical works of art, and artworks by contemporary émigré and displaced artists addressing migration. This research and exhibition emphasizes under-recognized artwork and stories that challenge the overarching art historical narrative of modernism. This vision is made actionable by gathering art and archival material that can be further deployed to shape the ongoing living process of history, as migration and the legacy of World War II are still unfolding today.


Artists: Daina Dagnija, Yonia Fain, Yevgeniy Fiks, Hell’s Kitchen collective, Rolands Kaņeps, Boris Lurie, Karol Radziszewski, Judy Blum Reddy, Vladimir Svetlov & Aleksandr Zapoļ (Orbita group), Viktor Timofeev, Sigurds Vīdzirkste, Artūrs Virtmanis


Curators: Katherine Carl, Solvita Krese, Inga Lāce and Andra Silapētere.

Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism is a collaboration of The James Gallery and the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, and is generously cosponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

The exhibition is open to the public from Tuesday, November 19th through Saturday, February 15th, 2020.

Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism is a collaboration of The James Gallery and the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and is one of the events of the Latvia’s Centenary Celebrations. It is supported, in part, by the Latvian Republic Culture Ministry, the Baltic American Freedom Foundation, the Polish Cultural Institute New York and State Culture Capital Foundation.

Click here or below to read or download the exhibition's accompanying booklet.


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