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Piotr Piotrowski (born 1952, died 2015) was Professor Ordinarius and Chair of Modern Art History at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań where he was Director of the Institute of Art History from 1999 to 2008. Since August 2009, he was Director of the National Museum in Warsaw. From 1992 till 1997, Piotrowski was a Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Museum, Poznań. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2001) and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2003), among other institutions. Piotrowski was a FORMER WEST Research Advisor and was a fellow at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, where he worked on a book project entitled “New Art – New Democracy in Post-communist Europe.” He was also a fellow at, among others, Collegium Budapest, Budapest (2005–2006), the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2000), Humboldt University, Berlin (1997), Columbia University, New York City (1994), and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Washington D.C. (1989–1990). He has advised and co-organized a number of exhibitions and projects including: 2000+: The Art from Eastern Europe in Dialogue with the West, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, 2000 and The Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, 1910–1930, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, 2001. Piotrowski has written extensively on Central European art and culture. He is the author of a dozen books including Art and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe (2012); Avant-Garde in the Shadow of Yalta. Art in Central-Eastern Europe, 1945–1989 (2009); Art after Politics (2007); Grenzen überwinded [Conquered Borders], co-edited with Katja Bernhardt (2006); and Meanings of Modernism. Towards a History of Polish Art after 1945 (1999).


Piotr Piotrowski fut invité par Arl@s dans le cadre du Labex TranferS, pour accompagner le groupe dans ses recherches sur les circulations artistiques. Il fit plusieurs presentations dont une communication sur NET.


Piotr Piotrowski: The Global NETwork. Approaching Comparative Art History

At the beginning of the 1970s Jarosław Kozłowski and Andrzej Kostołowski invented NET – a global network of artists who wanted to exchange their thoughts. This was the first such idea created in the Eastern Block, and one of the first in the entire world. Ultimately over the course of more than a dozen years a few hundred people from both Eastern and Western Europe, the United States, Latin America, and Asia participated in this initiative.
This paper does not aim to describe the project itself, but rather takes it as a point of departure for an analysis of the different contexts in which artworks circulate, in an effort to arrive at a theoretical approach to comparative art history. Piotrowski understands this concept not necessarily in the way that the circulation of ideas caused them to be influenced by each other, but rather how different geo-historical circumstances lie behind their meaning in context, how they illuminate each other—something that was not always perceived by the public that visited NET exhibitions.
We may thus be able to differentiate aspects of global culture as they were developed at the time, that are otherwise usually seen as homogeneous and west-centric, existing in a one-way relationship between the metropolis and its periphery.
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