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(this piece was originally published in the IHT/New York Times on 11 June 2011)

Guram Tsibakhashvili stooped down to pick up one of the several small brown cardboard boxes scattered across the floor of his Tbilisi studio. “This,” said Mr. Tsibakhashvili as he held up a box containing a round white plastic ball splattered with red paint, “is the future Museum of Contemporary Art.” Read more

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(Originally published in IHT/New York Times 11 March, 2011)

by Ginanne Brownell

Unlike its counterparts in places like Berlin, Paris or London —where most influential galleries are set up in obvious commercial spaces with large windows displaying what’s on view inside — finding the Raster Gallery in Warsaw takes perseverance.

It’s not that locating 42 Hoza Street is so hard itself, but trying to figure out where the gallery could be within the run-down Communist apartment block is what proves elusive. Halfway through a darkened corridor leading to a courtyard there is a door with a buzzer for several apartments — and for Raster. Read more

(Originally published on 24 February 2011 in IHT/NY Times

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA — The Bratislava art scene has always played second fiddle to Vienna — a 45-minute drive from the Slovak capital — and Prague, which for generations was where Slovak artists decamped for cultural enlightenment. But these days, small galleries are starting to have a big impact not only on the local scene but on the regional one as well. HIT Gallery is one of the most influential.
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(originally published by the New York Times/IHT –November 15 2010)

WARSAW — Unbeknownst to most residents of 64 Aleja Solidarnosci (Solidarity Boulevard) — a drab gray Communist block near Old Town in Warsaw — an apartment on the top floor is one of the most important places in Poland’s avant-garde art history.

It was in No. 118 that two of the country’s most influential 20th-century avant-garde artists — Henryk Stazewski (1894-1988) and Edward Krasinski (1925-2004) — lived and worked for more than two decades. It is now home to the Instytut Awangardy (Avant-Garde Institute), a museum, exhibition and archive space. Read more

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By GINANNE BROWNELL

(originally published in the New York Times)

POZNAN, POLAND — The premise of the exhibition “Erased Walls,” being held during the Mediations Biennale here until Oct. 30, is laudable. Instead of looking back at the art executed in Central and Eastern Europe before 1989 — the focus of many recent shows, including one this year at the Pompidou Center — “Erased Walls” is touted as exploring art from the region since 2000, in geopolitical, economic, cultural and artistic contexts.

While “Erased Walls” includes some interesting pieces that do explore these issues, it falls short of its desired goal. Read more