Bohemia History of an Idea, 1950 – 2000

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Edited by: Russell Ferguson, Kunsthalle Praha Texts by: Russell Ferguson Graphic Design: Studio Najbrt English April 2023, 224 Pages, 130 Ills. Hardcover 274mm x 186mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-5466-8
| Against the Grain

Since its beginnings in Paris in the mid-19th century, the idea of bohemia, an urban community of artists and intellectuals living outside bourgeois norms, has been a potent trope of artistic identity. It was here that the notion of an unconventional, free-spirited life, precarious yet filled with idealism, was codified and romanticized. Bohemia: History of an Idea, 1950 – 2000 shows the continuities and differences between the scenes and subcultures of the second half of the twentieth century, when the mainstream began to appropriate and thereby erode a way of life predicated on its rejection. Nonetheless, as an alternative to conformity the bohemian idea has exerted an enduring fascination. Through works by 39 artists, including Alice Neel, PeterHujar, John Deakin, David Wojnarowicz, Ed van der Elsken, Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, William Gedney, Libuše Jarcovjáková, Nan Goldin, Zhang Huan and Wolfgang Tillmans, the publication explores the diversity of expressions in various cities in Europe, North America and Asia and shows that the bohemian idea continues to galvanize and inspire.

RUSSELL FERGUSON is a research professor at the University of California’s Art Department. During his tenure at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, he curated numerous exhibitions on culture and representation in contemporary art and photography.
EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Praha, Czech Republic,
March 23–October 16, 2023