Artists Caught Behind the Iron Curtain

April 15 – May 29, 2023

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April 15 - May 29, 2023

Petrik Gallery

In 1964, on his first visit to Prague, Lee Freeman met the artist Jiří Mrázek and through this friendship began a life-long interest and passion for collecting contemporary Czech art. During this period it was very difficult, and often forbidden, for artists to show unsanctioned work. Freeman assisted these artists by transporting their work to the USA where he would sell them and send the proceeds back to Czechoslovakia along with paint and other art supplies unavailable to them.

Artists Caught Behind the Iron Curtain highlights many of the superb artists from the communist period. The exhibit shows the varied work and tells the stories of the artists who struggled to express their talent, even risking imprisonment, at a time when socialist realism was the only government-sanctioned approach to art.

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