Art and Emancipation. A selection of Piotr Piotrowski’s texts

Pavlína Morganová, Martin Škabraha

Art and Emancipation. A selection of Piotr Piotrowski’s texts

Art and Emancipation is the first real attempt in the Czech Republic to come to terms with the legacy of a Polish intellectual whose ideas remain hugely stimulating in the field of modern and contemporary art history and beyond. Piotr Piotrowski (1952—2015) became a world renowned theorist thanks to his concept of horizontal, i.e. non-hierarchical, art history, inspired by Marxism and feminism. This collection contains texts from 1998 to 2013, both self-contained essays and chapters from several of his books. In them, Piotrowski examines power relations, especially the geopolitical relations in which art is created and in which its history is written. He rejects an uncritical adoption of a Western perspective, whether in relation to the former Soviet bloc or to other world peripheries and marginalised cultures. He also addresses the issues raised by postcolonial studies and questions their application to the situation of post-communist countries. Another theme examined in the book is the idea of the critical museum, which Piotrowski consistently championed in his public functions, where he found himself in conflict with the demands of conservative politics. The collection also contains two interviews and an introduction by Agata Jakubowska and Magdalena Radomska, who are continuing the work of their illustrious teacher.

Publication date



Academic Research Centre




czech, english

Number of pages


Distributor Kosmas