November 2022

This special issue of Art History critically revisits the often-overlooked institutional circulations of art and art professionals, exhibitions, and other forms of cultural production within the Communist sphere from the late 1940s to its peak in the early 1960s during de-Stalinization, and eventual departure by the 1980s from the international ambitions of a ‘socialist’ globalism. As this collection of essays underscores, while the promise of ‘friendship’ and ‘solidarity’ in socialist internationalism offered a variety of transnational opportunities for art and artists, at the same time these complex concepts were also dependent on an unevenness of power, and not necessarily only with the Soviet Union. ‘Red Networks: Post-War Art Exchange’ emphasizes the contributions of the artists, art critics, and cultural administrators in state-socialist networks to the worldwide modernization of art after the Second World War through to contemporary art’s global turn in the 1990s.