Re-Worlding Postwar

The exhibition, Postwar: Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965 (2016-17), presented nearly 350 works by 218 artists from sixty-five countries, providing an ambitious and expansive account of mid-century modernism. Curated by Okwui Enwezor, Katy Siegel, and Ulrich Wilmes at Haus der Kunst in Munich, Postwar proposed a vision of artistic production in the post-World War II period that foregrounded experiences of war, decolonization, transnational movement, and changing technology. This review situates the show within a history of global exhibitions, articulating the stakes of the project for curatorial practice and pedagogy. It also evaluates its organization and display in the institution’s gallery spaces, reckoning with the limits of the exhibition format and the mode of decentering enacted through a simultaneous presentation of works created by artists in widely varying contexts.

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