Senior Curator of Modern Art, LACMA
Stephanie Barron, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s senior curator of modern art, is excited about staging her museum’s latest exhibition, Art of the Two Germanys/ColdWar Cultures. For her, the show has been a tremendous opportunity to devote herself to original research, one of her fortes as curator of one of the nation’s top museums.
“The exhibition tries to explore 20th-century art in Germany, an exciting and robust body of work that is abstract and international and that has been seen as synonymous with Expressionism,” she explains.
Along with Eckhart Gillen of Kulturprojekte Berlin, Barron and LACMA have staged an exhibition that reveals a large trove of art made under Communist repression in the East and the liberal cosmopolitanism of the West. While the West exported acclaimed painters such as Georg Baselitz and Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kiefer, artists in the East, photographers and graphic artists for the most part, labored in relative obscurity.
Barron says that this show is the third part of a German-based trilogy that encompasses Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazy Germany (1991) and Exiles and Émigrés: The Flight of European Artists from Hitler (1997).
Even though she has no personal/cultural connection to Germany—she did not travel to Germany until the 1970s—she says that she is especially thrilled to be staging the show since it comes at a time when there is a tremendous resurgence of 1950s and 60s (Cold War period) European art.