Agents of Abstraction
400 pp., 7 x 10 in, 16 color illus., 70 b&w illus.
- Published: November 26, 2019
The aesthetics of a non-Soviet form of socialism, drafted by four Yugoslav artists in the 1950s.
As the cold war gained momentum in Europe, Tito's break with Stalin led to Yugoslavia's expulsion from the Eastern bloc in 1948. Confronted with this new reality, the Yugoslav government decided to bridge the indeterminacy of its cultural politics through a creative strategy: it commissioned young artists and architects to draft the aesthetics of a non-Soviet form of socialism. Agents of Abstraction frames the liaison of socialist cultural politics and modernist artistic practice by interlinking ideas of decentralization, experiments in state-funded arts and architecture, nonrepresentational forms, and self-reliance. The cultural and geopolitical contexts are accompanied by rare visual material, much of which appears in print for the first time.